So… how exactly did the Poinsettia become associated with the Christmas holiday? I wondered, so I did a little research! Here’s what I found…
Poinsettia plants are native to Central America… mostly in the area of southern Mexico known as ‘Taxco del Alarcon’ is where they grow and flower in winter. The ancient Aztecs called them ‘cuetlaxochitl’ and they had many uses for them. Two important ones were the use of the flowers (actually it is not so much as a flower as the special types of leaves known as bracts). One was to make purple dye for clothes and cosmetics and the other is the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers. (Today the sap is called latex!)
Poinsettias didn’t arrive in the United States until 1828 when the plants namesake, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett brought them here. After discovering it in the wilderness in southern Mexico, Dr. Poinsett, who dabbled in botony, sent cuttings of the plant back to his home in South Carolina. While it didn’t gain much attention at first, its popularity caught on over the years, and by the 20th century it became a holiday mainstay. So much so, that there is now a National Poinsettia Day which is celebrated on Dec. 12, to honor both the plant and the man who brought it to America.
Okay… But what does any of this have to do with Poinsettia being associated with Christmas? Well… I’ll tell you!
According to one interpretation, the plant is as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem, the heavenly body that led the three magi, (wise men), to the place where Christ was born. There is also a Mexican legend which tells of a small girl named Pepita, who could only afford to offer weeds as a gift to Jesus on Christmas Eve. When she brought the weeds into a church, they blossomed into the beautiful red plants we know as poinsettias, ( also known as Flores de Noche Buena in Mexico, which is Spanish for “flowers of the holy night”).
Whether the Poinsettia has a special connection for you with the season or if you believe the story or not, it makes no matter. I say, lets just choose to admire the vibrant colors this plant shows off at this special time of the year and enjoy!
Brides N Blooms Wholesale & Design is offering some of these beautiful poinsettias at a great price. If you are local to the Tampa Bay Area, call today and find out how to get yours! 813.852.2052
Now go and have yourself a wholesale holiday poinsettia and fresh flower filled day!