Smith College Admission Academics Student Life About Smith news Offices
News Release

October 16, 2007

Chrysanthemum Fireworks at the Botanic Garden of Smith College

Editor’s note: For a photo of the Chrysanthemum Show, contact Marti Hobbes at (413) 585-2190.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—For two weeks in November, as the colors fade outdoors, floral fireworks will be erupting inside Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory during the annual Fall Chrysanthemum Show, which runs from Saturday, Nov. 3, to Sunday, Nov. 18. An even more extravagant display than Smith’s well-known Spring Bulb Show, the exhibit will include oversized blooms in unexpected shapes and colors, some reaching 8” in diameter and perched atop plants up to 5-7 feet tall!

The stunning showcase also includes chrysanthemums grown in the traditional Japanese style, painstakingly trained to grow downward and form a “waterfall of flowers” along the Conservatory wall. Growing and training them in that style is so labor intensive that chrysanthemum cascades are rarely seen in the United States. Yet, in two weeks, these plants will flaunt blooms with beguiling appeal right here in Northampton.

Since the early 1900s, Smith horticulture students have been trying their hands at hybridizing, experimenting with the wide assortment in color and form of chrysanthemum flowers. The results are showcased each year at the Chrysanthemum Show. The public will be able to vote for their favorite “Chrysanthemum of the Year” at the show. And, those who cannot make it to the show can see the display on a live-feed Web camera.

This year biologist and scientific illustrator Elizabeth Farnsworth will kick off the show with a presentation on “Rare and Interesting Plants of the Connecticut River Valley” Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. in Seelye Hall, Room 106. Farnsworth, who is currently working on the forthcoming reference book “Flora of New England” for the New England Wild Flower Society, will share information about the flora along the river from its source, high in the boreal forests, to the sea at the beaches and marshes of Long Island Sound. You’ll learn about some common plants that make lovely additions to the garden as well as the rare species to watch for when you are enjoying the river. Following the lecture, the public is invited to a reception and preview of the Chrysanthemum Show in the illuminated Lyman Conservatory.

The Chrysanthemum Show at the Lyman Conservatory is open to the public daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is wheelchair accessible. Parking is available on College Lane for the two weeks of the show. For more information, visit the Botanic Garden's Web site.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

Current News &

News Release

DirectoryCalendarCampus MapVirtual TourContact UsSite A-Z