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The Meaning of Spider Mums

By Darla Himeles
A white spider mum's petals resemble many white spider legs.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Brianna Lehman

Spider mums’ long, tubular petals hang loosely around their stems like spider legs. Their colors include white, red, pink, orange, yellow, lavender and green. Spider mums, a type of chrysanthemum, mean different things when they are delivered, carried in a wedding bouquet or included in a sympathy bouquet.

Personal Delivery

When you receive spider mums by personal delivery, the traditional message is clear: “elope with me.” However, flowers’ traditional meanings are not as commonly observed in modern times as they once were; double check before packing your bags to elope.


Spider mums regularly make appearances in wedding bouquets due to their unusual petals and bright colors. In wedding bouquets, spider mums mean liveliness, and if they’re white, they also mean purity and truth.

Sympathy and Remembrance

Include mums in sympathy bouquets to wish someone peace. In Europe, spider mums, like other chrysanthemums, mean death. They are placed on gravestones in remembrance of the dead.


Spider mums’ blooms are about 6 inches in diameter, and they can be propagated at home through cuttings. Spider mums are hardy in U.S. growing zones 3 to 9, which means they can be grown in most parts of the United States.

Expert Insight

Spider mums’ blooms are particularly vulnerable to shattering. Melt candle wax or spray a commercial shattering suppressant onto the backs of spider mums’ blooms to help prevent shattering if you want them to convey your intended meaning.


About the Author


Darla Himeles is a freelance writer, editor and poet living in Castine, Maine. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College's English and education programs and a current student in Drew University’s MFA in poetry and poetry in translation program, Himeles writes frequently about education, wellness, writing and literature.