The Regal Poinsettia – A Holiday Tradition

Ice Punch

My boss gave me a Poinsettia plant yesterday as a Christmas gift, and it is truly lovely. There are a few of my friends that fall into the ‘anti-Poinsettia’ crowd, but you can count me in with the rest of us who not only love Poinsettias, but feel that the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without them!

Check out a few fun Poinsettia factoids:

  • They are native to Mexico
  • They are a member of the Eurphorbia genus (E. pulcherrima)
  • Their colorful ‘flowers’ are not true flowers, but rather are bracts or modified leaves. The actual flowers are those little round clusters in the center of the bract
  • Poinsettias were first introduced in the United States in the early 1800’s
  • Serious poinsettia breeding began in the 1950’s through both public and private breeding programs
  • The traditional red Poinsettia represents over 70% of the total market, followed by white, pink and marble types
  • There are over 100 varieties of Poinsettias available in the marketplace
  • Poinsettias are grown commercially using plant cuttings, not from seed
  • The production cycle for Poinsettias is generally about 7 months - from producing and rooting cuttings to the final flowering plant at retail

I have a huge traditional red poinsettia at home that graces my entryway and is reflected in a hallway mirror, so I get double bang for the buck in terms of brilliant Christmas color. The lovely plant (pictured) Dick gave me represents some of the newer Poinsettia breeding that gives this traditional holiday plant additional appeal.

Best wishes to all of you for a joyful and safe holiday season!


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