Monday, December 12, 2011

Here's a Little Poinsettia Trivia to Celebrate Poinsettia Day

When the winter holidays roll around, there’s no flower more ubiquitous than the poinsettia. But the plant, known for its bright red bracts, hasn’t always been so closely associated with the Christmas season in the United States. Curious? Read on for more.

• The Flowers de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night) wasn’t introduced to the United States until 1825, when Joel Roberts Poinsett, a botanist, physician, and first United States diplomat to Mexico, sent samples back to the United States after a visit to Taxco del Alarcon in Southern Mexico. It has since been known in the United States as the “poinsettia.”

• Prior to its popularity during the Christmas season in the United States, the plant’s association with Christmas originated from 17th century Mexico, when Franciscan priests incorporated the plant into their nativity procession after observing it bloom in the Christmas season.

• Poinsettias were brought to cultural prominence in the United States by Albert Ecke, a German immigrant who left his vegetarian health spa business and settled near Los Angeles in Eagle Rock, CA, where he and his family started an orchard and dairy. He chose to market the poinsettia to large growers as an “off-season cash cow” and called it “The Christmas Flower.” His son, Paul Ecke Jr. took the marketing one step further, by convincing television shows and magazines to prominently display the flower during their Christmas editions.

• The bright red bracts of the plant are often mistaken for flowers, but are actually specialized leaves that serve to attract pollinators. The flowers are actually in the yellow structures at the center of a leaf bunch.

Now that you’re a poinsettia expert, this Poinsettia Day, take advantage of our Poinsettia Week sale, where you can take 10% off all orders $100 or more. Just use coupon code POINSETTIA at checkout and enjoy the savings.

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