Ever wonder what that flower is that you see during the holiday season? Well, we’ve got an answer for you! It’s a poinsettia and it’s actually a plant not a flower. We often forget about these beautiful plants throughout the year but then like clockwork they show up everywhere as soon as Thanksgiving is over. They are one of the main clues that Christmas season has begun!

We thought we would use our blog this week to fill our readers in on the intimate background of this special plant. Also, remember if you are looking for poinsettias this holiday season or any holiday flower arrangement...check out your local D.C. flower shops!

Now although you are all probably most familiar with the beautiful red shade that is often seen when you find poinsettias throughout the holidays, these plants also come in white, orange, pale green, cream, pink or marbled. And don’t forget about it’s gorgeous green foliage that comes along with any poinsettia! Although we are familiar with this cultural symbol of Christmas in United States, the plant is actually indigenous to Central America and Mexico. The plant did not actually come to the United States until the early 1800s when it was introduced by the U.S. Minister to Mexico. It was actually named after the U.S. Minister to Mexico, Joel Robert Poinsett.

In it’s earlier life, the plant was not a symbol of Christmas but instead used as red dye and medicine! Present day, however, it is a symbol of Christmas and in Mexico it literally means “Christmas Eve flower.” However, in other Central American countries it actually means “Easter flower” rather than a symbol for Christmas.

Ever wonder where the association with Christmas started from with this beautiful plant? It comes from a Mexican legend about a young girl who could not afford a gift for the celebration of Christmas. Instead she was inspired to gather weeds and place them in front of the church altar...despite this collection being only of weeds before she knew it red blossoms has sprouted from the weeds and became what we now know as poinsettias.

We also wanted to make sure our loyal Nosegay readers know how to take care of this wonderful plant if they do choose to pick one up for the holiday season. Look no further! We have advice for you. The first thing to keep in mind for these cold months is if you are taking it outside make sure to wrap it up because exposure to icy weather can upset the leaves. However, don’t leave it wrapped up too long! Make sure to remove the wrapping as soon as you have it back inside. These plants also enjoy as much sun as they can get so place them near a window. It is also does not need to be over watered! Only if the plant feels dry should you water it. Not following the instructions above could leave your red poinsettia turning yellow and losing its leaves before the holidays begin!

Hope you enjoyed our spotlight this week! Happy Holidays to everyone!