I have one in my backyard, and it blooms really early, so I always start getting excited about Christmas in September. This plant is natively Mexican and it's a big big part of the holiday decoration here. I don't have much more to say, so I went to our trusty wikipedia and compilled some cool facts:
- The name "poinsettia" is after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the US in 1828.
- In Turkey, poinsettias are called Atatürk çiçeği ("Flower of Atatürk")
- In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the plant is called Cuitlaxochitl meaning "star flower." The Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as fever medication.
- The plants' association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson "blossoms" sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan monks in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.
Oh, and apparently there is a cocktail called poinsettia, that I am sooooooo gonna try this holiday season. A poinsettia cocktail is a mixture of dry sparkling white wine, vodka, and cranberry juice. Yum!!!!
*Pics are from Etsy Sellers