Monday, December 16, 2013
Burst of Poincettia
I love the colors of this time of year. All the reds and greens. I especially enjoy the Poinsettia plants which seem to decorate every home during the holidays.
The Poinsettia is actually from Central America. The ancient Aztecs found it blooming in the tropical highlands during winter and named it Cuetlaxochitl. They would extract purple dye from it for cosmetics and also used the plant's milky white sap to treat fever.
In the 1800's, the plant was made famous by Joel Roberts Poinsett. He was the son of a French physician who was appointed as the first US Ambassador to Mexico by President Madison. Poinsett loved botany and whilst visiting in Mexico he fell in love with the brilliant red flower. He immediately began growing them and sending the plants to friends and to botanical gardens. They were sold as Euphorbia Pulcherrima, which means beautiful.
Over the years the plant became known as the Christmas Poinsettia, named after Joel Poinsett, and because it can be found blooming naturally in its original habitat in Mexico only during Christmas.
I thought it charming to read that in Mexico where the Poinsettia was originally found, this plant grows to the size of a tree. I would LOVE to see that.
I was just looking at this card again--and that young lady is NOT in a good mood. LOL Kind of cute, really.
Merry Christmas dear Friends.