Researchers reviewing mums in field.

In 1992, University plant breeders reviewing a research field of seedlings discovered a new mum that grew to the size of shrubs. They later coined the name Maxi-Mums™, as there are several thousand flowers on a single plant! A major, worldwide promotion of new introductions in this series of garden mums begins in 2001.

Chrysanthemums

IN THE 1930s the chrysanthemum breeding project at the U of M was initiated. Since then, 76 garden mums and seven greenhouse or florist mums have been introduced. Today, Minnesota maintains the only public mum breeding project in the country. U of M scientists make hybrids in the winter and plant out hundreds of seedlings the following spring to compare them to the best performers. Trials are conducted in St. Paul and at six other U of M Research and Outreach Centers, which represent the variability of Minnesota soil, moisture and climate. Plants are evaluated for flower size, color, growth habit, vigor, frost tolerance and winter hardiness.

SHOWY PERENNIALS that flower from August until frost, these U of M mums are uniquely developed to withstand USDA Zone 3 and 4 growing conditions and will usually overwinter when covered with a protective mulch in late fall. Mums prefer full sun and well-drained soil. For best flowering, have your soil tested (contact your county Extension office to obtain directions) and add fertilizer if necessary. Pinching has long been recommended on mums, but is not required. Pinching the branch tips anytime from early June until July 4 will delay flowering and produce shorter, more compact plants. Left unpinched, plants will flower earlier and have taller, more irregular growth. The University does not pinch any of their field trials. Over time, mums increase in size and can become crowded. When that happens, dig and divide the plants in early spring just as growth starts.

Chrysanthemums

Sesquicentennial Sun*     2001     golden yellow, 19-24" tall, 20-23" wide, flowers early August
Peach Centerpiece*     2001     quilled flowers, 24-26" tall, 20" wide, flowers early Sept.
Betty Lou Maxi-Mum™*     1996     red, button flowers before Sept. 1, 30" spread, 12-18" tall
Inca™*     1996     light bronze, 2" double button, 12" tall, flowers before Sept. 1
Snowscape™*     1963     white flowers with purple tips, 12" tall, day-neutral, flowers July until frost
Rose Blush*     1993     mauve, 2-3" decorative, 12-18" tall, flowers Sept. 1-15
Maroon Pride*     1989     dark red, 3 1/2" flat, decorative, 12-18" tall, flowers before Sept. 1
Minngopher*     1977     cushion, 2-2.5", ruby-red decorative flowers
Brunt Copper*     1988 
Grape Glow*     1988 
Lemonsota*     1988 
Rosy Glow*     1987 
Centennial Sun*     1985 
Gold Country*     1983 
Mellow Moon*     1983 
Centerpiece*      1982 
Minnqueen*     1979 
Royal Knight*     1979 
Autumn Fire*    1977 
Golden Star*     1977 
Minnruby*     1974 
Minnyellow*     1972 
Minnwhite*     1968 
Zonta*     1964 
Minnautumn*     1962 
Wayzata*     1961 
Minnpink*     1957 
Snowsota     1989 
Lindy     1974 
Wendy Ann     1974 
Minnglow     1972 
Golden Jubilee     1971 
Royal Pomp     1969 
Yellow Glow     1969 
Maroon 'n Gold     1945 
Butterball     1944 
Glacier     1944 
Redhawk     1944 
Redwood     1944 
Snowball     1944 
Pipestone     1943 
Waterlily     1943 
Chippewa     1942 
Purple Star     1942 
Redgold    1942 
Sunred     1942 
Boreas     1941 
Harmony    1941 
Moonglow    1941 
Redwing     1941 
Welcome     1941 
Duluth     1939 

Florist Mums

Hiawatha     1934 
Fawn     1935 
Northstar     1935 
Snowflake     1935 
Daisy Mum    1940 
Sioux     1940 
Winona     1940 

*= varieties available from retail nurseries, those without are heirloom varieties with limited availability

Continue on to 150 Years of Vegetables

Rose Blush mum.
'Rose Blush' is noted for its profusion of early mauve flowers that develop before September and last for several weeks, even resisting damage from frost.

Sesquicentennial Sun mum.
'Sesquicentennial Sun' will be available in 2001 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the U of M. It is a compact, long-flowering golden mum that is frost-tolerant. Flowering begins in early August and continues until a killing freeze in October. This is an improved variety of 'Centennial Sun,' released in 1985 on the 100th anniversary of the Agricultural Experiment Station, the sponsor of horticultural breeding work at the U of M.

Minngopher mum.
'Minngopher' produces crimson red flowers in late September, typical of mums that respond to the short day length in the fall.

Maroon Pride mum.
'Maroon Pride' is grown for its rich, dark red flowers in late August. A day neutral mum, it does not need short days to induce flowering.