December 12th is Poinsettia Day. The US has officially observed National Poinsettia Day since 1851. Decorate for the season with this festive plant!
- The poinsettia is also known as the Mexican flame leaf or Christmas star.
- The “flowers” are actually large bunches of colored leaves. In order to insure its festive coloring, it is essential that the plant received no light at night between October and Christmas. The slightest exposure to light during this critical period will often prevent “flowering.”
- Poinsettias come in a variety of colors from red, salmon, and apricot to yellow, cream, and white. Red, of course, is the most popular.
- Poinsettias account for one-third of sales of all flowering potted plants every year. More than 65 million were sold last year!
- The poinsettia is actually a small tropical tree.
- Poinsettias are native to southern Mexico and Central America, where they may reach heights of 16 feet with leaves measuring up to eight inches across!
- The Aztecs used the poinsettia leaves to dye fabric for clothing and the sap for medicinal purposes.
- The poinsettia is NOT toxic to humans or animals. This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf.
Quote of the Week:
“Percy, the puny poinsettia is hanging his bloom in dismay. If they had just kept him wetta, he’d be a houseplant today.” ~ From the song “Percy, the Puny Poinsettia” by Elmo & Patsy
Sources: cardfountain.com, backyardgardener.com