Poinsettia: The Flower of Christmas

There’s nothing more traditional to make the holiday season bright and beautiful than with a beautiful poinsettia—often called “The Flower of Christmas”.  A poinsettia makes a great gift for friends and family and a festive way to decorate your own home.

Even though poinsettias are native to Mexico, today they are the most popular flowering potted plant in the United States. The poinsettia is named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first United States Ambassador to Mexico in the 1820’s. He is credited to having introduced the poinsettia into the United States.

According to legend, the poinsettia’s association with Christmas and as a prized flower began in 16th century Mexico. Although there are various versions of the details, the tale recounts of a poor young child who was unable to buy a gift for the village’s church celebration of Jesus’ birthday. Heart-broken, the child was inspired to find any gift for the Christmas child, knowing that the most humble gift, if given in love, will be accepted. The child then gathered a handful of common weeds from the roadside and placed them in front of the church altar and Nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into brilliant crimson flowers resembling a star. The event was considered by all to be a Christmas miracle. From then on, the weeds or poinsettias were known as Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night.

At Master’s Hand we have the traditional red variety along with white, jingle bells and ice punch. The bright red parts of the poinsettia are called bracts and are actually modified leaves, not flowers. The poinsettia flower is small, green or yellow, and situated in the middle of the bracts.

December 12th is National Poinsettia Day, named in honor of Joel Poinsett who died on this day in 1851. Merry Christmas and enjoy the flower of Christmas!   Be sure to stop by and pick up your poinsettia or call and have one delivered to that “special” someone this Christmas season.