The iconic plant of the Christmas Season is the poinsettia. They are native to South America. The legend is that a poor girl offered a humble gift by laying a grouping of weeds at the feet of Christ. They miraculously bloomed into a bouquet of beautiful red flowers. This event was named Flores de Noche Buena or Flowers of The Holy Night. Today we call them Poinsettias which means “very beautiful”.
Poinsettias were named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the 1st U.S. Ambassador to Mexico that first brought the colorful Christmas plant to North America.
The botanical name for the poinsettia is Euphorbia pulcherrima. There are dozens of varieties of the poinsettias although the most common are the red, white and pink.
Contrary to popular belief, they are non toxic are are not poisonous. The Aztecs actually used the sap of the plant to treat fevers. They also used the color of the leaves to dye textiles.
Add poinsettias to your walkways, to your landscape islands or as a decoration on your front porch for simple and inexpensive splash of Christmas cheer.