This is a sign the plant is too stressed and is dying.  In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the plant is called Cuetlaxochitl, meaning "flower that grows in residues or soil" Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as flor de Nochebuena, meaning Christmas Eve flower. Wild poinsettias occur from Mexico to Guatemala, growing on mid-elevation, Pacific-facing slopes. , Poinsettias are popularly, though incorrectly, said to be toxic to humans and other animals. Christmas can be the most exciting time of the year, but finding the perfect gift is a challenge that everyone faces at some point. , Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6–4 metres (2–13 ft). Although not a true bloom – it is these bracts that give the poinsettia plant its beautiful color. In fact, the poinsettia tree is named after the first US minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett. The blood-red bracts were a symbol of sacrifices and creation. Poinsettia has its roots in Mexico with its history tracing back to the ancient Aztecs, but it became widely popular when introduced to the United States. Forgetting the humbleness of her gift, the girl laid the weeds at the feet of the Christ child. There they grow to shrub-like proportions. Poinsettias make a great gift when visiting family for the holidays. Cut back all canes (branches) to about 6 inches from the pot’s rim. Poinsettia was named after the United States ambassador to Mexico Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851), who played a crucial role in making the Poinsettia into the most popular Christmas plant. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It’s normal for the plant to have a few yellow leaves, but too many yellow leaves on the plant could mean it has been stressed. Today, Poinsettias are an indispensable part of Christmas decor throughout the world. They used the plant as part of their mid-winter celebrations and planted it widely long before Europeans discovered North America. Joel Roberts Poinsett, a physician, botanist, and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, spotted a wild Poinsettia growing in a deciduous, tropical Mexican forest in the 1820's. , In the late 1980s, university researcher John Dole discovered the method previously known only to the Eckes and published it, allowing competitors to flourish, particularly those using low-cost labor in Latin America. , To produce extra axillary buds that are necessary for plants containing multiple flowers, a phytoplasma infection—whose symptoms include the proliferation of axillary buds—is used. Home » Interesting facts » How Did the Poinsettia Become Associated with Christmas. The botanical name Euphorbia pulcherrima was assigned to the plant by the German botanist Karl Ludwig Wilenow. When selecting a Poinsettia for yourself or as a gift, make sure it has healthy, dark green foliage, well-colored bracts, stiff stems and that no roots are coming out of the pot. And when we talk about flowers during Christmas time, we are most likely liable to think about Poinsettias first. The poinsettia (/ p ɔɪ n ˈ s ɛ t i ə / or / p ɔɪ n ˈ s ɛ t ə /) (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).Indigenous to Central America, it was described as a new species in 1834. Poinsettias contribute about $200 million annually to the United States economy in wholesale sales alone. As of 2012, wild poinsettias are not protected by Mexican law. Paul Ecke Junior developed the grafting technique causing seedlings to branch, allowing the Poinsettia industry to flourish. In addition to their role as traditional Christmas decorations, poinsettias can serve as tokens of goodwill, friendship, and joy during the holiday season and b Each year on the 12th day of December, people across the United States recognize Poinsettia Day. The holotype had been collected in Mexico during an 1803–1804 expedition by Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland. The holotype had been collected in Mexico during an 1803–1804 expedition by Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland. Most wild populations are on Pacific-facing slopes in steep canyons. Poinsettias, at times, reach a height of sixteen feet. Euphorbia is one of the genera of the family Euphorbiaceae, with more than 2000 species including Euphorbia pulcherrima. This introduction forever changed the way we think about Poinsettias, not only in United States, but all over the world. Prescott named the plant the poinsettia in honor of Joel Poinsett’s discovery. These trees, in their wild form widely grow across Mexico to Guatemala. Poinsettia was named after the former US ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel R. Poinsett who introduced the Poinsettia to the United States. Because of his interest in botany, he … How Did the Poinsettia Become Associated with Christmas, Stunning 24 Inch Pre-lit Christmas Wreath, Top 10 Flower Names for Baby Girls in 2021. These graceful flowers will add charm and beauty to your Christmas decorations and will also bring holiday cheer into your hearts and your homes! Many species have common names that vary from region to region and country to country, including Euphorbia pulcherrima which is widely known as Poinsettia in North America, but also all over the world. When it comes to watering Poinsettias, you have to find the balance between not too wet and not too dry. Poinsettias are named after an amateur botanist, Joel Robert Poinsett, who brought the plant to the U.S. from Mexico in 1825. There is a myth that Poinsettias are a highly toxic plant and the core of the myth dates back to 1919 when a child in Hawaii was thought to have died after eating a single Poinsettia leaf. Specific details about its spread from there are largely unverifiable, but it was exhibited at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 1829 by Colonel Robert Carr. She was preparing to visit the Nativity scene at the chapel.  From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. Poinsett served South Carolina in the state legislature and as Chairman of the Board of Public Works. After the obsolete genus name Poinsettia, named after Joel Roberts Poinsett (19th-century US minister to Mexico); equivalent to Poinsett + -ia. They produced a fuller, more compact plant by grafting two varieties of poinsettia together. Poinsettia wasn’t unknown during this time, but it was used as a Christmas flower only in Mexico. He became intrigued by the plant and sold them from street stands. Indigenous to Mexico and Central America, it was described as a new species in 1834.  In Puerto Rico, where poinsettias are grown extensively in greenhouses, the industry is valued at $5 million annually. Poinsettias prefer cooler temperatures overnight and slightly humid air. How the Poinsettia became known as Christmas symbol? What language is Poinsettia? She felt embarrassed that she didn’t have more to offer to Jesus and sadness filled her heart. On that day, Poinsettias are displayed in celebration of the Virgin Mary, otherwise known as the Virgin of Guadalupe. Poinsettias are not poisonous to pets or children as commonly believed unless ingested in large quantities. If Euphorbia pulcherrima is the scientific name for these plants, one may well ask how their common name (which looks like it should be a scientific name!) Origin of poinsettia. Its range is about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) long, encompassing mid-elevation tropical dry forests. Prescott had just finished writing a book, ‘Conquest of Mexico’ where he gave details of Poinsett’s finding.  In 1944, the plant was included in H. R. Arnold's book Poisonous Plants of Hawaii on this premise. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into brilliant red blooms! , Albert Ecke emigrated from Germany to Los Angeles in 1900, opening a dairy and orchard in the Eagle Rock area. They range from creamy white to pink to the traditional bright red. Other names used to describe poinsettias include flame leaf flower and lobster flower. - Last year, the wholesale value of the poinsettia crop reached nearly $170 million-a jump of more than 400 percent from 1976. mid-November) the poinsettia plant is the perfect first step to sprinkling a little festive joy in our homes. The poinsettia was named after Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779 - 1851). The use of the plant in celebrating Christmas actually dates all the way back to the 17th century, when Franciscan monks in Mexico began using it at the Christmas ceremony. , Besides changing the market from mature plants shipped by rail to cuttings sent by air, he sent free plants to television stations for them to display on air from Thanksgiving to Christmas. External exposure to the plant may result in a skin rash for some. However, Cuetlaxochitl was more than just a symbol for Aztecs. According to poinsettia flower history provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American growers produced more than 33 million poinsettias in 2014. The plant bears dark green dentate leaves that measure 7–16 centimetres (2.8–6.3 in) in length. According to legend, a young Mexican girl named Pepita lived in a small village in a poor house. Poinsettias are not poisonous to pets or children as commonly believed unless ingested in large quantities.  The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice of Jesus's crucifixion. , Until the 1990s, the Ecke family, who had moved their operation to Encinitas, California, in 1923, had a virtual monopoly on poinsettias owing to a technique that made their plants much more attractive. The Poinsettia plant was named after Joel Robert Poinsett, who was an American ambassador to Mexico around 1829. They had a number of practical uses for the plant, from dying clothes to using the sap as medicine, as well as for decoration.  The colors of the bracts are created through photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness (at least fourteen hours at a time for 6–8 weeks in a row) to change color. Hanger Included. A nurseryman from Pennsylvania, John Bartram is credited as being the first person to sell poinsettias under its botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima It should be neither dripping wet nor totally dry, and if it is, … It remained in relative obscurity until Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced it to the United States. The poinsettia was named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, a botanist and the first U.S. Minister to Mexico, who began sending the plant back to his greenhouses in South Carolina as early as 1826. The colored bracts—which are normally flaming red, with cultivars being orange, pale green, cream, pink, white, or marbled—are often mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors, but are actually leaves. Place them in an area where they’ll receive a minimum of six hours of bright sunlight each day. Poinsettia Facts. He was so impressed by its color that he gave it a name Euphorbia pulcherrima, which literally means “very pretty plant”. Today, the plant is known in Mexico as “La Flor de la Nochebuena”, which means “Flower of the Holy Night” because it blooms during the Christmas season. However, the story turned out to be completely unsubstantiated. He also represented South Carolina in Congress and was Secretary of War. It has been hypothesized that the inaccessibility of the canyons may protect the wild populations from human disturbance. Classic Red.  Similarly, a cat or dog's exposure to poinsettias rarely necessitates medical treatment. Recent research has proved that Poinsettias are not poisonous. If possible, check the soil before buying.  Possibly as early as 1826, Poinsett began sending poinsettias from Mexico back to his greenhouses in South Carolina. Poinsettia. What does poinsettia mean? Coincidentally, December 12 is also The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe), one of Mexico’s most popular Catholic festivals that celebrates the belief that a man encountered the Virgin Mary, Mexico’s patron saint, in Mexico City on that day in 1531. As the plant grew in popularity, it was eventually named after Poinsett, who had a long and honored career as a congressman and a founder of the Smithsonian Institution. Today, Poinsettia is the most popular Christmas plant and is grown globally for Christmas celebrations. Every year in the US, approximately 70 million poinsettias of many cultivated varieties are sold in a six-week period. (Of course, the plant wasn't called "Poinsettia" yet, as it was named after him years later). Poinsettias are shrubs or small trees, with heights of 0.6–4 m (2.0–13.1 ft). They are symbols of good cheer and they just scream Christmas time! Many of these poinsettias are grown by the Ecke family business, which serves half the worldwide market and 70% of the US market. They are the world’s most economically important potted plants and a popular choice as a decor and gift during Christmas time. Bacterial diseases include bacterial soft rot and bacterial canker, while a viral disease is Poinsettia mosaic virus. The poinsettia was described as a new species in 1834 by German scientist Johann Friedrich Klotzsch. It was a Christmas time and everything was so beautiful. These wild Mexican plants were 12 to 15 feet tall with only 1 or 2 stems. Population sizes are frequently very small, with as few as a dozen individuals. For those of us who just can't get enough of Christmas (hey, we also think it's totally acceptable to start blasting out Wham!  This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf. You may be able to tell when watering is needed by lifting the entire pot. Though Arnold later admitted that the story was hearsay and that poinsettias were not proven to be poisonous, the plant was thus thought deadly.  Contact with any part of the plant by children or pets often has no effect, though it may cause nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting if swallowed.  Each year in the US, approximately 70 million poinsettias are sold in a period of six weeks, at a value of US$250 million. – Michelle R. ANSWER: Don’t feel too bad.Poinsettias are notoriously hard to care for as a houseplant. Some stores sell poinsettias in cellophane cones that … Taxonomically speaking, Euphorbia pulcherrima, widely known as Poinsettia, belongs to a large family of plants known as Euphorbiaceae (the Spurge family). The plant will need enough water to keep the potting soil damp but not sodden. If the soil always feels cold and wet, it means the roots are stressed from over watering. As the plant gained in popularity in the United States, horticulturalist William Prescott honored the ambassador who brought it here with its common name – Poinsettia. The poinsettia was described as a new species in 1834 by German scientist Johann Friedrich Klotzsch. Conditions that promote poinsettia propagation also favor certain diseases. It is also estimated that 35 million Poinsettias are sold in the United States each year.  Nothing is known about pollination in wild poinsettias, though wasps are noted to occasionally visit the cyathia. History of the Poinsettia. It is not coincidence that Mexican people admire this plant. Wild poinsettia populations are highly fragmented, as their habitat is experiencing largely unregulated deforestation. Poinsettias are named after an amateur botanist, Joel Robert Poinsett, who brought the plant to the U.S. from Mexico in 1825. It’s cold outside and warm in our souls. In spring, return the plant to a sunny area and water well. This has not been documented in wild poinsettias though, as cultivars seldom flower and do not produce fruits. The reason of this admiration is easy to understand if we look at the origins of the plant. However, you should avoid direct sunlight since it will dry out more quickly. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered the kind words spoken to her by her cousin: “Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in his eyes. If possible, move the plant to a cooler room at night. Poinsettia was named after the United States ambassador to Mexico Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851), who played a crucial role in making the Poinsettia into the most popular Christmas plant. It may also be a good idea to repot the poinsettia using the same type of soil. Once you hear the name of this plant, you can likely picture exactly what it looks like in … ” Immediately after, she felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene. These bracts change color in response to the plant forming flowers. If ingested, mild drooling or vomiting can occur, or rarely, diarrhea. A conservation risk typical for species with wild and cultivated populations is the contamination of the wild gene pool by hybridization with cultivated individuals. Genetic analyses showed that the wild populations in northern Guerrero are the likely ancestors of most cultivated poinsettias.  Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became poinsettias. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who is credited with introducing the plant to the US in the 1820s. His son, Paul Ecke, developed the grafting technique, but it was the third generation of Eckes, Paul Ecke Jr., who was responsible for advancing the association between the plant and Christmas.
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