Happy holiday season! Between decorating, shopping, and holiday parties alone, there are so many awesome things about the last few weeks of December.
But let’s go back to the decorating part for a moment. Did you know that poinsettias are one of the most popular flowers associated with the Christmas season? Since you’ll probably see tons of poinsettia displays as you shop around town this month, get to know more about them by checking out these awesome poinsettia facts below.
- A poinsettia plant’s botanical name is “euphorbia pulcherrima,” which translates to “very beautiful.”
- Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S ambassador to Mexico and a U.S congressman, is credited as the first person to introduce poinsettias to the United States after discovering them in Mexico.
- Poinsettias were given the name “poinsettia” by William Prescott. After learning the story of Poinsett’s findings, Prescott renamed the plant after him.
- Speaking of Poinsett, Dec. 12 is known as Poinsettia Day in his honor; Dec. 12 is the day that Mr. Poinsett died.
- The red blooms we see on poinsettia plants are actually not flowers; rather, they are known as bracts. By definition, bracts are simply modified leaves. The actual “flower” on a poinsettia plant is the yellow bloom found at the center of the bracts.
- Poinsettias come in over 100 colors. While prestige red is the most common, you can also find plants whose bracts are white, pink, and even gold!
- The color of poinsettia leaves is actually determined by how much light the plant gets. For red leaves, the plant needs must get bright light during the day and no light at night (for at least 12 hours).
- The majority of poinsettias found in the U.S. are grown and produced in California.
- Though they are most commonly seen around the holidays, poinsettias can bloom again after the season is over, which makes them perennials! However, getting them to do so requires a ton of care throughout the spring and summer.
- Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous. Research shows that a child would have to eat more than 500 poinsettia leaves in order to experience really serious effects — but that’s not to say they’re completely harmless. To be safe, it’s best to keep poinsettias away from children and pets.