Sunday, December 12, 2010

National Poinsettia Day

By an Act of Congress, December 12 was set aside as National Poinsettia Day. The date marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who is credited with introducing the native Mexican plant to the United States. The purpose of the day is to enjoy the beauty of this popular holiday plant.

December Birth Flower

Also known as the Christmas flower, the poinsettias origin is legendary. It is believed it began as nothing other than a child who could not afford a gift to offer to Christ on Christmas Eve picked some weeds from the side of a road. The child was told that a humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in God's eyes. The weeds turned into brilliant red blooms we now know as the poinsettia, and the congregation felt they had witnessed a Christmas miracle.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are popular potted plants, particularly during Christmas. Poinsettia was named after the first ambassador of US to Mexico, Dr. Joel Robert Poinsett who introduced the plant to United States in 1825. Poinsettias are also known by other names such as winter rose, lobster flower, Mexican flame leaf, Noche Buena, Christmas star and Christmas flower. Peru and Chile called the poinsettia the “Crown of the Andes”. The botanical name of poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, means “the most beautiful Euphorbia”. The plants are native to Central America and southern Mexico.

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