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Poinsettia Trivia

  • The main attraction of the plant is not the flowers, but the leaves. The coloured leafy parts are actually bracts or modified leaves while the actual flowers (termed 'cyathia') are the yellow clustered buds in the centre of the bracts.
  • Red is the most popular colour followed by white and pink. There are more than 100 varieties available in the market place.
  • Poinsettias are the most popular of all flowering potted plants, accounting for about 1/4 of the total world sales of potted flowering plants.
  • California is the top producer of poinsettias grown commercially, growing over 6 million plants.



Wild Poinsettia

  • In the wild, poinsettias can reach 12 feet in height with bracts up to 8” across.
  • Native to southern Mexico, poinsettias have been used for centuries to decorate churches in December. The Aztecs used the leaves to dye fabric for clothing and the sap for medicinal purposes including fevers. They also considered red as a symbol of purity.

 

 


Joe Robert Poinsett

  • Dr. Joe Roberts Poinsett, an amateur botanist and the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico introduced the first plant to the U.S. He discovered a shrub with brilliantly colour leaves growing by the side of a road in Taxco, Mexico in December 1828 and sent cuttings home to his plantation in Greenville, South Carolina for propagation.
  • December 12th is National Poinsettia Day in the U.S. and has been since the mid 1800's It honours the man and the plant he introduced. Poinsett died December 12, 1851.

 

Ecke Ranch

  • The Paul Ecke Ranch in Southern California has produced the majority of poinsettia cuttings and plants purchased in the U.S. With Paul Ecke Jr. considered the father of this industry as he figured out a method of pinching poinsettias to create a rounded, bushy plant; far from the original gangly roadside plants.
  • The poinsettia is NOT a poisonous plant. It has been cleared of all charges of being poisonous by national poison centres across the United States. If ingested, however, the poinsettia can cause stomach irritation and discomfort. Cats and children may choke on the fibrous parts, so keep the plants out of their reach.

 

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