Poinsettia

December's Birth Flower

As we begin December, you may be wondering what December’s birth flower is?

Well, it's no surprise that the December birth flower is the Poinsettia. Poinsettia is botanically known as the Euphorbia pulcherrima. Pulcherrima means “very beautiful.” Like all Euphorbias, the Poinsettia has milky sap. The Aztecs used the sap as a medicine to control fevers, and the red bracts were to make a reddish dye. In the 1820s, President John Quincy Adams appointed the botanist Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett to serve as a US ambassador in Mexico. Poinsett soon observed a shrub on the side of the road that caught his eye. He sent specimens to his friends, and the Poinsettia became a sensation.

In 1836, English newspapers reported:

"Poinsettia Pulcherrima, the bracts which surround the numerous flowers, are of the most brilliant rosy-crimson color, the splendor of which is quite dazzling. Few, if any of the most highly valued beauties of our gardens, can vie with this. 
Indeed, when we take into consideration the profuse manner in which it flowers, the luxuriance of its foliage, and the long duration of the bracts, we are not aware that there is any plant more deserving of a place in all select collections than this lovely and highly prized stranger."
 
 


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Poinsettia
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