Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hardy Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum x rubellum 'Clara Curtis'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chrysanthemum (kris-AN-the-mum) (Info)
Species: x rubellum (ROO-bell-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Clara Curtis
Additional cultivar information: (aka Country Girl)

Synonym:Dendranthema x rubellum

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By poppysue
Thumbnail #1 of Chrysanthemum x rubellum by poppysue

By hczone6
Thumbnail #2 of Chrysanthemum x rubellum by hczone6

By hczone6
Thumbnail #3 of Chrysanthemum x rubellum by hczone6

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Thumbnail #4 of Chrysanthemum x rubellum by hczone6

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Thumbnail #5 of Chrysanthemum x rubellum by Todd_Boland

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By trifunov
Thumbnail #7 of Chrysanthemum x rubellum by trifunov

There are a total of 19 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Sequoiadendron4 On Oct 19, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 from Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I got this plant in 2010 by accident from some mail order plant company. I actually almost threw it away but decided to give it a chance and planted it. The plant spreads nicely on it's own. It seems to have two main bloom pushes; one in early summer and one in late summer. I very much like it's 'naturalizing' habit. It can be a little floppy but only partially so. Mine gets morning sun and then bright shade the rest of the day.

Positive coriaceous On Feb 19, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A single, daisy-like, mid-pink flower, this was the first of Amos Perry's "rubellum hybrids", released in 1939 and still one of the most popular garden chrysanthemums today. I find it exceptionally valuable for its exceptionally early and exceptionally long season of bloom.

In commerce, this is frequently confused with other garden mums. For example, if you look at the 18 pictures currently posted in this plantfile, how many different cultivars can you distinguish?. Fewer than half of those 18 show the plant I know as 'Clara Curtis'.

Garden chrysanthemums (including the "rubellum hybrids"---a trade name rather than a botanical one) are distinctly different from the "hardy mums" commonly sold in garden centers in the fall for bedding. For garden chrysanthemums to winter over reliably, they need to be planted in the spring. They're heavy feeders and tend to exhaust the soil quickly. Clumps tend to die out in the centers. They also tend to spread rather quickly. For all these reasons, they need frequent spring division with soil renewal, at least every 3 years.

The plant I've grown as 'Clara Curtis' is unique among garden chrysanthemums in its season of bloom. Here in Boston Z6a, it usually comes into bloom in early July and peters out in mid September. A few times, exceptionally early springs have also triggered a spring flush of bloom, as happens routinely with mums in the South. (For the best/most bloom, it's best to prevent the spring flush by pinching back as soon as the buds appear).

Garden chrysanthemums are usually pinched back in late spring, to induce branching, to increase flower bud production, and to reduce height and the need for support. The standard advice here is to stop pinching by July 4th. But for this cultivar, I'm reluctant to pinch even in June, for fear of removing summer flower buds.

Positive ceejaytown On Apr 26, 2006, ceejaytown from The Woodlands, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I like this plant. It is a groundcover and spreads, so plan carefully where you want to put it. Easy to weed out and keep in bounds. Needs pinching back (or shearing) two or three times during the summer to keep it from becoming leggy. Good in humid climates where other Chrysanthemums' big double blooms turn black with mold after fall rains.

Neutral irishbelle On Apr 16, 2006, irishbelle from Orange County, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very floppy and spreads like crazy. Not desirable traits in the location I have her in. The flowers are charming and abundant during a time when gardens can start to look a little tired. Perhaps in the right setting she would be a keeper, but I am on my way outside now transplant her to a pot and think about what to do with naughty Clara.

Positive Fleurs On Apr 9, 2005, Fleurs from Columbia, SC wrote:

Easily grown mum needing only pinching back once or twice during the summer to prevent flowering too early and light shearing after blooming.

Positive trifunov On Oct 16, 2004, trifunov from Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

In our neighbourhood in late fall most of the gardens look a little sorry. One neighbour has a garden full of Clara Curtis, and her garden is absolutely gorgeous in fall. I plan to get some next year for late fall color. This aster is much more attractive than mum's, in my opinion.

Negative poppysue On Jan 22, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is just too spready... and too floppy for me. It grew so fast I needed to pull handfulls out every year. The late color is nice but it always flopped and looked messy. It tried cutting it back early in the season but that didn't seem to help much. I gave her a chance... She's a goner now.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Panama City, Florida
Lincoln, Illinois
Spring Grove, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Warren, Indiana
Kalona, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
South China, Maine
Dracut, Massachusetts
Peabody, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Caledonia, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Brandon, Mississippi
Canton, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Albany, New York
Himrod, New York
Southold, New York
Fargo, North Dakota
Lititz, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Christiana, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Nacogdoches, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Clearfield, Utah
Beverly, West Virginia

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