It’s December! Cities and homes are becoming all aglow with festive lights and decor. No flower says Christmas like the beautiful poinsettia. The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves).
The Aztecs called poinsettias “Cuetlaxochitl.” During the 14th – 16th century the sap was used to control fevers and the bracts were used to make a reddish dye.
The botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima, was assigned to the poinsettia by the German botanist, Wilenow. The plant grew through a crack in his greenhouse. Dazzled by its color, he gave it the botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima meaning “very beautiful.”
These vibrant colors are what I find truly amazing and lovely!
Or the Peace and Hope that one seems to feel with the pure white color!
Poinsettias are not poisonous. A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than 500 leaves to have any harmful effect. Plus poinsettia leaves have an awful taste. You might want to keep your pets from snacking on poinsettia leaves though as could cause stomach upset.
When you take the poinsettia home, be sure to have it sleeved or covered when outdoor temperatures are below 50°F.
- Unwrap your poinsettia carefully and place in indirect light. Six hours of light daily is ideal. Keep the plant from touching cold windows.
- Keep poinsettias away from warm or cold drafts from radiators, air registers or open doors and windows.
- With good care, a poinsettia will last 6-8 weeks in your home.
Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions – Enjoy the season!
Which poinsettia color is your favorite?