They had a number of practical uses for the plant, from dying clothes to using the sap as medicine, as well as for decoration. Poinsett served South Carolina in the state legislature and as Chairman of the Board of Public Works. Poinsettia wasn’t unknown during this time, but it was used as a Christmas flower only in Mexico. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. History of the Poinsettia. , Albert Ecke emigrated from Germany to Los Angeles in 1900, opening a dairy and orchard in the Eagle Rock area. , Poinsettias are popular Christmas decorations in homes, churches, offices, and elsewhere across North America, as a result of an extensive marketing campaign by the Ecke family that began by shipping free poinsettias to television stations for use on-air. He would be amazed at what started as simple cuttings from Mexico have become. If possible, check the soil before buying.  Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became poinsettias. Unfortunately, she had no gift to present to the Christ child during the Christmas Eve, so she gathered a bundle of roadside weeds and formed a bouquet. Every year in the US, approximately 70 million poinsettias of many cultivated varieties are sold in a six-week period. Keep it indoor when the sun is harsh and don’t over water it. Infection by poinsettia branch-inducing phytoplasma is actually desirable, as it keeps the plants shorter with more flowers. Christmas time is here and the magic of the season is all around us! Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbiaceae or Spurge family. At that time, the legend of the little Pepita was born, forever mixing the red and green colors to Christmas folklore in a story in which Poinsettias and Christmas come together. External exposure to the plant may result in a skin rash for some. , Poinsettias are susceptible to several diseases, mostly fungal, but also bacterial and parasitic. The Aztecs called them “Cuetlaxochitl”, which means “flower that grows in residues or soil”. QUESTION: How do you take care of a potted poinsettia indoors?Every year my blooms fall off and they look terrible after just a few weeks. Though often stated to be highly toxic, the poinsettia is not dangerous to pets or children. Poinsettia Facts. , Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6–4 metres (2–13 ft). A poinsettia left to grow on its own will naturally take an open, somewhat weedy look. Classic Red.  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. She was preparing to visit the Nativity scene at the chapel.  A survey of more than 20,000 calls to the American Association of Poison Control Centers from 1985–1992 related to poinsettia exposure showed no fatalities. In Nahuatl , the language of the Aztecs, the Poinsettia was called Cuitlaxochitl (from cuitlatl, for residue, and xochitl, for flower), meaning "flower that … ex Klotzsch.  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. 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. In 1970 the US Food and Drug Administration published a newsletter stating erroneously that "one poinsettia leaf can kill a child", and in 1980 they were prohibited from nursing homes in a county in North Carolina due to this supposed toxicity. To ensure the plant thrives and grows to be a healthy and beautiful, choose one where the yellow flower buds are still closed. The poinsettia (/pɔɪnˈsɛtiə/ or /pɔɪnˈsɛtə/) (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). He also represented South Carolina in Congress and was Secretary of War. , The poinsettia is the world's most economically important potted plant. 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!) The Eckes' technique made it possible to get every seedling to branch, resulting in a bushier plant. According to legend, a young Mexican girl named Pepita lived in a small village in a poor house.  The discovery of the role phytoplasmas play in the growth of axillary buds is credited to Ing-Ming Lee of the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Exposure to the plant, even consumption, most often results in no effect, though it can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.. 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, 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. This has not been documented in wild poinsettias though, as cultivars seldom flower and do not produce fruits. 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. There is a specific poinsettia variety growing in Guerrero (Mexico). Some stores sell poinsettias in cellophane cones that … Poinsettia Care After the Holidays. If the soil always feels cold and wet, it means the roots are stressed from over watering. The poinsettia is named after the man who first brought the plant to the United States. , Species of flowering plant in the spurge family Euphorbiaceae, American Association of Poison Control Centers, "Beschreibung zweier neuen Euphorbien aus Mexico", "The Poinsettia: History and Transformation", "Poinsettia's wild ancestor in the Mexican dry tropics: Historical, genetic, and environmental evidence", "The Legends and Traditions of Holiday Plants | Horticulture and Home Pest News", "The Legends and Traditions of Holiday Plants", "The poinsettia: Jesus' life story in a plant", "The bloom is off the poinsettia business", "How America's Most Popular Potted Plant Captured Christmas", "First Report of Wilt and Stem Canker of Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) Caused by Phytophthora nicotianae in Puerto Rico", "Poinsettias: Helping an Icon to Bloom at the Right Time", "How Poinsettias Became Synonymous With Christmas", Plant Pathology Fact Sheet: Poinsettia Diseases, List of Christmas gift-bringers by country, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Poinsettia&oldid=991982136, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 21:12. The poinsettia was described as a new species in 1834 by German scientist Johann Friedrich Klotzsch. Poinsettia is also known as “Christmas Star” or “Christmas Flower” because of the colorful star-shaped bracts that are always around during Christmas time. They range from creamy white to pink to the traditional bright red. Skin exposure to the sap may cause itchiness, redness, or swelling. 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. Bracts are a showy set of leaves that form on top of the dark green foliage of a poinsettia. Poinsettias contribute about $200 million annually to the United States economy in wholesale sales alone. He became intrigued by the plant and sold them from street stands. Often mistaken for flower petals, its colourful bracts are actually modified leaves that surround a bunch of small, inconspicuous yellow flowers called cyathia. This story reminds us that that any gift is beautiful when given with love and even the smallest gift would be appreciated if given with an open heart! The poinsettia was named after Joel Poinsett, the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, who "discovered" it while he was on a trip in 1828. Montezuma, a 15th century Aztec king, adorned his palace with Poinsettia, having his people cultivate the flower as a gift from the Gods. Poinsettia's botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima, means "the most beautiful Euphorbia". Poinsettias prefer cooler temperatures overnight and slightly humid air. Klotzsch credited Carl Ludwig Willdenow with the species name "pulcherrima", and the authority is given as Willd. It was a custom in many villages to honor the Christ child by bringing gifts for him to the church. They produced a fuller, more compact plant by grafting two varieties of poinsettia together. There they grow to shrub-like proportions.  Cultivation in the US began when diplomat Joel Roberts Poinsett sent some of the plants back to his greenhouses in South Carolina in the 1820s. These bracts change color in response to the plant forming flowers. Many of these poinsettias are grown by the Ecke family business, which serves half the worldwide market and 70% of the US market. The poinsettia is named after the man who first brought the plant to the United States. A nurseryman from Pennsylvania, John Bartram is credited as being the first person to sell poinsettias under its botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima There is a somewhat anomalous population of wild poinsettias in the northern part of the Mexican state of Guerrero and Oaxaca, which is much further inland in the hot and seasonally dry forests than the rest of the species' range. This introduction forever changed the way we think about Poinsettias, not only in United States, but all over the world. If possible, move the plant to a cooler room at night. Poinsettias are popular garden plants in tropical and subtropical areas and are well-known potted plants associated with winter festivities in temperate regions. Taxonomically speaking, Euphorbia pulcherrima, widely known as Poinsettia, belongs to a large family of plants known as Euphorbiaceae (the Spurge family). Once you hear the name of this plant, you can likely picture exactly what it looks like in … When the pot seems light, it indicates that the soil is dry and you need to water the plant. Its natural habitat is thus highly fragmented, particularly near metropolitan areas such as Taxco. The red floral bracts were quite narrow and droopy as compared with those of modern poinsettias, and they had large open centers. , 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 flowers of the poinsettia are unassuming and do not attract pollinators.  Similarly, a cat or dog's exposure to poinsettias rarely necessitates medical treatment. How the Poinsettia became known as Christmas symbol? Christmas can be the most exciting time of the year, but finding the perfect gift is a challenge that everyone faces at some point. Origin of poinsettia.  Klotzsch credited Carl Ludwig Willdenow with the species name "pulcherrima", and the authority is given as Willd. – Michelle R. ANSWER: Don’t feel too bad.Poinsettias are notoriously hard to care for as a houseplant. , 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. One population in the Mexican state of Guerrero is much further inland, however, and is thought to be the ancestor of most cultivated populations. Though Arnold later admitted that the story was hearsay and that poinsettias were not proven to be poisonous, the plant was thus thought deadly. , An attempt to determine a poisonous dose of poinsettia to rats failed, even after reaching experimental doses equivalent to consuming 500 leaves, or nearly 1 kg (2.2 lb) of sap. Hanger Included. Because of his interest in botany, he … Prescott named the plant the poinsettia in honor of Joel Poinsett’s discovery. Population sizes are frequently very small, with as few as a dozen individuals. A conservation risk typical for species with wild and cultivated populations is the contamination of the wild gene pool by hybridization with cultivated individuals. , Poinsettias are popularly, though incorrectly, said to be toxic to humans and other animals. Ambassador to Mexico, introduced the first specimens to North America (1828). In 1825, President James Monroe appointed Poinsett the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Poinsettias are cheery plants that are widely grown indoors over Christmas for their brightly coloured bracts. The poinsettia was described as a new species in 1834 by German scientist Johann Friedrich Klotzsch. They became associated with the Christmas holiday and are popular seasonal decorations. Poinsettias are named after an amateur botanist, Joel Robert Poinsett, who brought the plant to the U.S. from Mexico in 1825. Populations were once found in rolling hill areas, though many have gone extinct. They used the plant as part of their mid-winter celebrations and planted it widely long before Europeans discovered North America. When it comes to watering Poinsettias, you have to find the balance between not too wet and not too dry. They were the first to begin using Poinsettias at the holidays during their Nativity ceremonies.  From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. Bacterial diseases include bacterial soft rot and bacterial canker, while a viral disease is Poinsettia mosaic virus. On that day, Poinsettias are displayed in celebration of the Virgin Mary, otherwise known as the Virgin of Guadalupe. is derived. Poinsettia is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 60 cm to 5 metres (2 to 16 ft). Just because it’s not harmful doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat.  This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf. Other names used to describe poinsettias include flame leaf flower and lobster flower. It should be neither dripping wet nor totally dry, and if it is, … , 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. Joel Roberts Poinsett was born in 1779 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. It remained in relative obscurity until Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced it to the United States. Poinsettias are named after an amateur botanist, Joel Robert Poinsett, who brought the plant to the U.S. from Mexico in 1825. If ingested, mild drooling or vomiting can occur, or rarely, diarrhea. The “blooms” of poinsettia plant are actually called bracts. This is a sign the plant is too stressed and is dying. In July of 2002, the House of Representatives created National Poinsettia Day in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett.  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. , It was known by the common name "poinsettia" as early as 1836, derived from Joel Roberts Poinsett, a botanist and the first US Minister to Mexico. Fungal diseases affecting greenhouse poinsettia operations include Pythium root rot, Rhizoctonia root and stem rot, black root rot, scab, powdery mildew, and Botrytis blight. Poinsettias are not poisonous to pets or children as commonly believed unless ingested in large quantities. Despite his successful career as a politician and ambassador, Poinsett will always be remembered for introducing the Poinsettia into the United States. , 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. The son of a French physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico (1825 - 1829). Recent research has proved that Poinsettias are not poisonous.
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