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Longwood Gardens and US Botanic Garden Grow Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum

October 21, 2013
Single Plant Features 535 Blooms, on View at U.S. Botanic Garden through November 17.

OCTOBER 21, 2013 – Guests to the U.S. Botanic Garden can see one of horticulture’s most challenging feats: the Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum, on view Oct. 26- Nov. 17.

The Thousand Bloom derives its name from the ambitious goal of cultivating a single chrysanthemum plant to produce as many perfectly placed blooms as possible. This ancient technique, known in Japan as Ozukuri, originated hundreds of years ago in Asia and is the most exacting and challenging of all Chrysanthemum training styles.

The United States Botanic Garden teamed with Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA to grow the Thousand Bloom. The rigorous, 12-month growing process involves meticulous watering, pinching and tying of the chrysanthemum to a customized wire frame to train the plant to grow into the desired form. Throughout the year staff from the U.S. Botanic Garden has traveled to Longwood to learn the growing process. On October 21, Longwood delivered the seven-foot wide plant to USBG where staff members from both gardens from both gardens then began to meticulously arrange the uniform white blooms into a dome shape. When the arranging was complete, the bloom count reached 535 blooms. A chrysanthemum with 500 blooms or more qualifies to be called a Thousand Bloom.

Only a few growers in the entire world today are skilled in the techniques of training a Thousand Bloom. Longwood Gardens’ team of growers has trained with master chrysanthemum growers in Japan and frequently travels there to advance its understanding of this rare art form. Longwood has been growing a Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum as part of its annual Chrysanthemum Festival since 1995.

“The Thousand Bloom is one of the biggest wonders in the world of flowers,” explains Longwood Gardens Director Paul Redman, “but it is also one of the most challenging plants to grow.” “We are delighted to share our expertise with the talented staff at the U.S. Botanic Garden and help to preserve this rare living art form.”

“The United States Botanic Garden is thrilled to present the first ever display of a Thousand Bloom in the Washington D.C. area to the public,” states U.S. Botanic Garden Executive Director Holly Shimizu. “Through this wonderful partnership with Longwood Gardens, we are able to conserve and demonstrate the rare horticultural technique of Ozukuri.”

There are only a few places outside of Asia to see a Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum. Guests can enjoy the Thousand Bloom at USBG October 26-November 17. The largest Thousand Bloom in North America is on display at Longwood Gardens now through November 24. It features 1,416 yellow blooms and measure more than 12 feet in diameter.

About the United States Botanic Garden

Steeped in history, rich with tradition, the United States Botanic Garden is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to earth's fragile ecosystems. The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory is open to the public, free of charge, every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 100 Maryland Avenue SW, in between the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall. Visitors are strongly encouraged to take Metrobus or Metrorail. Please check for more information.

About Longwood Gardens

In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and community engagement. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Patricia Evans, Longwood Gardens 
610-388-5442 / 

Ari Novy, U.S. Botanic Garden
202.225.1269 /