Chrysanthemums were cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. An ancient Chinese city was named Ju-Xian, meaning "chrysanthemum city". The flower was introduced into Japan probably in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal. There is a "Festival of Happiness" in Japan that celebrates the flower.
The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century. Linnaeus named it from the Greek prefix chrys-, which means golden (the colour of the original flowers), and -anthemon, meaning flower.