Poinsettias were used by the Aztecs  to produce purple dye and early cosmetics.  The white milky sap was uses as medicines to treat fevers.  Today we call that sap latex!

The  first introduction of these beautiful flowers north of the Mexican border was by Joel Roberts Poinsett who was the first ambassador to Mexico.  He was fascinated by these plants  with their  green leaves that turned  brilliant red a few days before Christmas just in time for the celebration. Later, it was discovered that the process had to do with light or the absence there of.


He noticed many symbols of Christ, the star shape, and the color of blood that perfectly fit into this holiday as foreshadowing of Easter.  Samples were sent  to greenhouses in South Carolina for research to see if they would grow in the United States.

That was the beginning of United States’ love affair with this most recognizable Christmas flower.  This year over 34, 000,000 were  bought to decorate our houses, churches, and work places.

Thanks Mexico for this wonderful flower!

Feliz Navidad!

greenhouse full of bright red poinsettia


images from google images. .  . . . . . public domain

text from Wikipedia

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Poinsettia

  1. Dr. Rex says:

    This is excellent!!! I’ve read about this before. Wonderful information. TY … hope you had a wonderful Xmas.


  2. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Story behind this beautiful flower!!


  3. AngieG9 says:

    Reblogged this on Angie's Place and commented:
    A Christmas blog from my friend Anne T. Bell, who knows so much about so many things. Please visit her blog, http://annetbell.word.press.com and read Tales Along The Way.


  4. AngieG9 says:

    Beautiful Anne. Reblogged on Angie’s Place. You must have been a wonderful teacher, because you are still educating us all today.


  5. foodbod says:

    I loved reading about poinsettias, thank you xx


  6. tanaypmchothani says:

    Excellent article maam :D. Please join teaching in India. We need teachers like you!


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