‘Tis the season to honor, Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly named Poinsettia, indigenous to Mexico but mass-produced as the staple icon of Christmas. Poinsettias have been cultivated into almost every color imaginable (white, cream, pink, red, orange, burgundy, salmon, yellow, peach and a multitude of variegated varieties), but most people still prefer the common RED varieties. Although, for me, I tend to like something a little unusual and unique but still keeping with the spirit of Christmas. This is why I’ve chosen Poinsettia ‘Monet’ as our Christmas Plant of the Month.
‘Monet’ is a blue-ribbon winner in the Society of American Florists’ new varieties competition. Its multicolored bracts (modified leaves, not flowers) are daubed with shades of red, deep rose, and cream reminding some of Claude Monet’s paintings, hence the name. Poinsettia ‘Monet’ reminds me of a white poinsettia that has been meticulously sprayed with a can of red spray paint. It’s gorgeous and pairs wonderfully with both Red and White Poinsettia varieties.
Are Poinsettias’ poisonous?
One common misconception about poinsettias is that they are poisonous. I did a little research and found out that this is not true. And although, the sap may cause an allergic reaction, The Poisindex Information Service states that over 500 leaves ingested by a 50-pound child would demonstrate no toxicity. And honestly, if you plan to ingest 500 poinsettia leaves, I really think that toxicity is the least of your problems.
The Legend of Poinsettias
The last note I want to leave you with is a charming story I came across about the origin of Poinsettias. The story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve services. As Pepita walked sorrowfully to church, her cousin Pedro tried to console her. “Pepita,” he said, “I am certain that even the most humble gift, given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.” Pepita gathered a bouquet of common weeds from the roadside, for this was the only gift she could give. As she entered the chapel and approached the alter, her spirits lifted. Forgetting the humbleness of her gift, the girl laid the weeds at the feet of the Christ Child. Suddenly, Pepita’s ordinary weeds burst into brilliant red blooms! This miraculous event was named the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night. Today, we call these flowers poinsettias.
For more info on your poinsettia, the Do’s and Don’ts, How to re-bloom your plant and other varieties. Visit the company that popularized this beautiful holiday flower and has been leading the industry for over 75 years. PAUL ECKE RANCH
If you have any questions or comments about Poinsettias or anything at all, we would love to hear your feedback!