The Flower of Christmas:  The Poinsettia

Flowers are an integral part of the holidays.  The poinsettia is a particular favorite among those who celebrate Christmas.  

This beautiful red and green plant brings the colors of the holiday to full bloom before our eyes.  

If you haven't graced your home with the poinsettia, make it a first this holiday season.  The poinsettia not only has an interesting history, but it is a plant that you can enjoy for months following Christmas.

The History of the Poinsettia

The poinsettia is a native plant of Mexico and Central America.  The name "poinsettia" was given to this unique plant by the minister who discovered it in 1828 - Dr. Joel Poinsett.  

Dr. Poinsett sent sample cuttings of the plant to Philadelphia.  The nurseryman noted that the plant took to potting without much difficulty.  

Through time and natural science, the poinsettia has become hardier and developed into a variety of colors.  Red, white, pink, and mixed colors are available.

Note:  The colored leaves on the poinsettia are often mistaken for flowers.  The flower clusters are actually very small and located in the center of these colored leaves.

How to Care For Your Poinsettia

The poinsettia is one of the most popular plants to place in your office or home.  Poinsettia owners should be aware that the plant can be sensitive to drafts, rapid changes in temperature, improper watering, and dim light.  To maintain full blooms for a longer period of time, the plant requires a cool environment, bright light and moist soil.