Difference between Chrysanthemums and Dahlias
By Marc Gordon - June 11, 2023

Chrysanthemums and Dahlias are not just members of the same plant family; depending on the cultivar, they may also appear remarkably similar. They both have “pompon” varieties with tiny, circular blooms, cultivars with heavily ruffled petals, and single and flat flowers. They are easily mistaken for each other when in bloom, but both plants have marked distinctions.


Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae. They are native to East Asia and northeastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia, and the center of diversity is China, where they have been used in medicine and art for thousands of years.
Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants native to Mexico and Central America. There are 42 species of Dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants. The Dahlia was named in honor of Andreas Dahl (1751–89), a Swedish botanist.

Chrysanthemums vs Dahlias

The most significant difference is the leaves. Most chrysanthemums have delicate, lacy-looking leaves with many rounded lobes. Dahlia leaves are ovate, with pointed tips and slightly serrated edges. Chrysanthemum leaves are an almost dusty-looking, blue-green color and have a texture to their leaves. Dahlias leaves are glossier. Many chrysanthemums are fragrant, although most dahlias are not.
From early October until the first frost, chrysanthemums bloom abundantly. Dahlias bloom from midsummer to October in general. They sprout from tubers, thick, horizontal roots resembling bulbs. Their roots are very succulent as they hold a lot of water. Chrysanthemums grow in clumps of roots.

Comparison Chart
  1. A herbaceous perennial plant
An annual plant
  1. About 2.50 cm tall and 1.50cm wide
Between 30.50 cm wide and up to 6 feet in height
  1. Highly fragrant
Not so fragrant