The genus once included many more species, but was split several decades ago into several genera; the naming of the genera has been contentious, but a ruling of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature in 1999 has resulted in the defining species of the genus being changed to Chrysanthemum indicum, thereby restoring the economically important florist's chrysanthemum to the genus Chrysanthemum. These species were, after the splitting of the genus but before the ICBN ruling, commonly treated under the genus name Dendranthema.
The other species previously treated in the narrow view of the genus Chrysanthemum are now transferred to the genus Glebionis. The other genera split off from Chrysanthemum include Argyranthemum, Leucanthemopsis, Leucanthemum, Rhodanthemum, and Tanacetum.
The species of Chrysanthemum are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves and large flowerheads, white, yellow or pink in the wild species.
Chrysanthemum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species — see list of Lepidoptera which feed on Chrysanthemum.
Today’s flowers are not as bright or large as ‘show’ varieties.
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