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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Plattsburgh chapter.

“Enola Holmes,” the feminist mystery movie from 2020, conjured up a clever transposition cipher using Victorian flower language mixed with sarcastic humor to pull together a code. 

In the movie, a chrysanthemum and a Queen Anne’s lace, also known as a wild carrot, are used to depict the code — a quick translation of family attachments or bonds, truth, and sanctuary. A cute play on words for the family bond is created for this scene, as the British term for mother is “mum,” and the Chrysanthemum’s nickname is “mum” as well. 

The scene in question is when Enola’s mother disappears. The lost Enola doesn’t believe it and naturally, being a Holmes, searches for clues left behind to get a location on her mother. She does find clues, one leading her to a bag of money and the other leading to a card with Queen Anne’s lace on it, indicating that “you are the master of your sails.” The clue starts with a writer’s desk made for painting — hidden within it is a note that reads, “Look in my chrysanthemum, Enola.” This brings Enola to a painting her mother made and inside the painting is the money to give Enola the freedom to do as she pleases. 

The chrysanthemum flowers have unique meanings in many cultures, according to Funny How Flowers Do That, an online publication by the Flower Council of Holland. In Japan, the yellow Chrysanthemum is a symbol of immortality. In China, it’s made into wine to drink on the ninth day of the ninth month for good health, for it is a symbol of a prosperous life. The Greeks used chrysanthemums to protect themselves from evil spirits. All the different takes on a single flower are humbling — this flower is truly worth its weight in gold, as the name broken down in Greek is “chrysos” meaning “gold” and “anthemon”’ meaning “flower”.

This October, if you are looking for a multifaceted dorm windowsill decoration, look no further than the  Chrysanthemum, a spirit-warding flower bringing long life, joyous and golden.

After an interview with Deborah Rollier, the owner of Nelson’s Flower Shop located in Plattsburgh, chrysanthemum is the local choice for you. The owner prices cut Chrysanthemum at $12, and they only have a limited amount of potted Chrysanthemum. Rollier illustrated her becoming a florist as a creative force to which she lived for 18 years while she worked at Nelson’s, before it was turned over to her. A perfect timing for a buyer to meet a seller. She has now owned Nelson’s Flowers for 12 years and is going strong. 

“Flowers mean more when they have a personal connection,” Rollier said. “Understanding the person’s taste can help give the perfect bouquet.”

Chrysanthemums are a symbol today of autumn, the chilled sunny days that will soon freeze into winter. The yellow and orange-toned flowers’ appearance on steps, porches, or lawns set the stage for the end of the brightly colored floras that die out as it gets colder. Chrysanthemums stay strong through the morning dews and brisk nights, surviving well below zero degrees Fahrenheit

Rollier said, “Chrysanthemums are a hardy choice that blooms no matter what.”

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Skyler Misiaszek

Plattsburgh '25

I am a lover of roller skating and dogs! My favorite breed is mastiff. On my free time I paint and sew, although I wouldn't let me fix your pants for you. I am still learning, but that's okay. Best Wishes & Safe Travels!