Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced the poinsettia plant to the United States from Mexico. The illnesses that some people suffer just from being around poinsettia plants (without even touching them) are worse yet (for example, difficulty in breathing). In other words: getting them to flower again is a real pain—something best left to greenhouse operators. They are excellent foundation and accent plants for your garden and can offer many seasons of interest. Euphorbia pulcherrima can be grown as a perennial in zone 10 and higher (e.g., South Florida). The most common side effects that have been reported from Poinsettia ingestions are upset stomach and vomiting. The Paul Ecke Ranch in California grows over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and about 50% of the world-wide sales of Poinsettias. December 12th is Poinsettia Day, which marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1851. Well, the common name derives from the fact that Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. California is the top U.S. Poinsettia-producing state. Eating the leaves can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Despite rumors to the contrary, Poinsettias are not poisonous. In nature, Poinsettias are perennial flowering shrubs that were once considered weeds. The girl was, however, reassured that to use a modern expression, "it's the thought that counts.". They will grow outdoors in temperate coastal climates, such as Southern California beach communities. It is known there as "Flor de Pascua", meaning "Easter flower". In the ground, they can reach 10 feet tall. No flower says Christmas like the beautiful poinsettia. These Christmas flowers are native to Mexico and are named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S Ambassador to Mexico and a U.S Congressman. 0 . Yeah, we are talking about the poinsettias. But because this fact is so widely known now, people have let down their guard and allowed a new myth to take hold, as a reaction: namely, the myth that no health issues whatsoever surround the annual displaying of poinsettia plants. Poinsettias received their name in the United States in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant into the country in 1828. Poinsettias are not frost-tolerant. The milky sap (the "latex," if you will) that oozes from the branches can result in contact dermatitis in some people. Poinsettias are shrubs or small trees, … Joel Roberts Poinsett, a physician, botanist, and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, spotted a wild Poinsettia growing in a deciduous, tropical Mexican forest in the 1820's. ". Ancient Aztecs cultivated this plant for use in traditional medicines to reduce fever and for red dye. Poinsettia is a type of small tropical tree that belongs to the spurge family. Ambassador to Mexico, introduced the first specimens to North America (1828). The only reason you can buy them at the florist shop in bloom during the Yuletide season is that greenhouse operators have manipulated their bud set. N ative to Mexico, Poinsettias are found in wild, deciduous tropical forests at moderate elevations, from Southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific Coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. is derived. Prized for their bright, showy flower bracts, poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are a common sight in many homes during the holiday seasons. Euphorbia pulcherrima is a sub-tropical plant, native to Mexico. They have names like 'Premium Picasso', 'Monet Twilight', 'Shimmer', and 'Surprise'. was successfully added to your cart. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. Since Poinsettia plants are from the tropics, they prefer surroundings that simulate that type of … Paul Ecke Jr. is considered the father of the Poinsettia industry due to his discovery of a technique which caused seedlings to branch. 'Prestige Red'--one of many poinsettias patented by Ecke--ranks among the best-selling hybrids. But the "flowers" also come in white, yellow, pink and color combinations. This is a sign the plant is too stressed and is dying. Deciduous plants have leaves that drop once a year. By Bob Morris Gardening. There are more toxic holiday plants for dogs - here is a list. The legend regarding Euphorbia pulcherrima begins long ago with a peasant girl in Mexico, faced with a problem on Holy Night: she lacked the means to contribute a gift in the Christ Child ceremony at the church, as all the other children would be doing. The most common question people have about Poinsettias is how to get them to rebloom in successive years. This technique allowed the Poinsettia industry to flourish. The harm, in these cases, comes not from eating the leaves, but rather from touching the plant or even simply from being around Euphorbia pulcherrima. There are over 100 varieties of Poinsettias available. (Of course, the plant wasn't called "Poinsettia" yet, as it was named after him years later). History of Poinsettias. You might be surprised to learn just how many people get sick due to exposure to poinsettias. Only two words need be uttered to dispel the new myth: latex allergy. However, both folks in the industry and their customers regularly insert a "T" after the "N" when speaking, so that the word most often ends up being pronounced as point-SET-uh. Prune back the plants hard in April, to about 10cm (4in), and keep at a temperature of 13°C; In early May, repot them, growing them in a light, cool place over summer. Seven hundred years ago, the Aztecs called the plant Cuetlaxochitl, and used the red bracts for dye. Poinsettias are native to the low and mid-elevation tropical deciduous forest of southern Mexico. Though once only available in red, there are now Poinsettias in pink, white, yellow, purple, salmon, and multi-colors. It is an indoor plant that you can grow throughout the year, allowing it to provide a splash of color within the household. Poinsettias are small shrubs that grow wild in the deciduous tropical forests of Mexico, but to most of us, they bring color to the home during the winter holidays. Poinsettia grows in deciduous tropical forests and seasonally dry forests in the wild. Enormously popular holiday gifts, they are treated by most of their recipients as houseplants. In Nahuatl , the language of the Aztecs, the Poinsettia was called, Today the plant is known in Mexico and Guatemala as ""La. But frankly, they are not anything special without the colors that nurseries artificially induce them to put on at Christmas. In Mexico, the Poinsettia is displayed in celebration of the ". Such misspellings have spawned mispronunciations (or is it the other way around?). The yellow flowers, or. Available from florists in a variety of sizes, an average height for potted poinsettia plants is perhaps about two feet (not counting the container). Poinsettias come in colors like the traditional red, white, pink, burgundy, marbled and speckled. The Aztecs used the Poinsettia bracts to make a reddish purple dye for fabrics, and used the sap medicinally to control fevers. "Pointsetta" is a spelling even more off-base, but it is also more common than one might imagine. Hit enter to search or ESC to close. Here is a picture I took of one in El Salvador in front of a synagogue. Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbiaceae or Spurge family. The plants are raised in greenhouses (it is big business), to be sold as potted flowers for the holidays. The colorful bracts form around (and just below) these inconsequential flowers. These brightly coloured flowers are sure to brighten up any home through all our dark our December days. Poinsettias contribute over $250 million to the U.S. economy at the retail level. April: Starting April 1, gradually decrease water, allowing the soil to get dry between waterings. Poinsettias are often disappointing in their second year, but this is the best way to try and get a good display from them in their second year. Deciduous shrubs are typically multi-stemmed plants that lose their leaves in fall and winter. What is the correct pronunciation for "poinsettia? But be aware that the leaves can still be a choking hazard for children and pets. Poinsettias have also been called the lobster flower and the flame-leaf flower, due to the red color. Poinsettia flowers belong to the Euphorbia family and are related to the Euphorbia polychrome or the Cushion Spurge. Indigenous to Central America, it was described as a new species in 1834. The truth is, a kid would have to eat about 500 poinsettia leaves to get sick. The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). Some readers with latex allergy have shared their personal stories about health problems stemming from contact with these colorful plants. In Mexico the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10-15 feet tall. There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today. Most Poinsettias are sold within a six-week period leading up to that holiday, representing some $60 million worth. Our local poinsettia growers buy cuttings… Poinsettias are another great Christmas tradition. Can poinsettias be harmful to your health? By Laurel Rady. Be careful that the stem does not begin to shrivel. Poinsettias are a deciduous plant, so their leaves will fall off after they’ve reached full bloom. Why couldn't the ambassador have been named, "Smith?". For example, ginkgo loses its leaves much earlier ... plants, such as chrysanthemum and poinsettia. This dwarf deciduous … The "marbled" type is one of the most fascinating. If you prefer something more serene, then white poinsettias are a great choice. If you wish to replicate this "forcing" and get your plant to bloom again, you will need "about 10 weeks with 12 hours or less of sunlight per day." ... Deciduous trees, shrubs drop leaves in cold temperatures. HISTORY OF POINSETTIA. It is estimated that women account for 80% of Poinsettia sales. Below are five facts about these iconic holiday plants that would surprise many people. They are found in the wild in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. Poinsettia has a variety of names: a scientific, Euphorbia pulcherrima, a scholar, Euphorbia the elegant, as well as many market and commons, including Christmas Star, Christmas Flower, Painted Leaf, Lobster Plant and Mexican Flameleaf. Poinsettia is more than just a Christmas flower. Plant root showing … The plant is native to tropical deciduous forests of Mexico, where they grow from 2′ to 12′ tall. There, it is a deciduous flowering shrub, growing up to 10 feet in height. The fact is, this Christmas icon can make some people quite sick. You can move them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Euphorbia pulcherrima does have flowers, but these green and yellow flowers are small—and certainly not a noteworthy feature. The poinsettia occurs naturally in northwest areas of Mexico and can be found growing wild in deciduous tropical forests along the western coast of Central America as far south as Guatemala. The salient point about their status as sub-tropical plants is that, when transporting them in cold weather (say, from a florist shop to your home), they need to be wrapped for protection. It originates from Mexico and Central America, but it can be found in subtropical areas around the world today. Updated by Erica D. Seltzer and MaryAnne Spinner, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, http://urbanext.illinois.edu/Poinsettia/facts.cfm, http://www.Poinsettiabowl.com/bowl-history/bowl-history.html, http://shs.osu.edu/blog/medical-mythbusters-poisonous-poinsettas1/, http://www.safnow.org/statistics-floriculture-industry-overview, http://www.greenhousegrower.com/article/16823/Poinsettia-season-2010-recap-making-the-most-of-Poinsettias, http://www.greenhousegrower.com/article/14307/Poinsettia-survey-complete-results, http://www.greenhousegrower.com/article/30679/ecke-s-president-explains-the-sale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The word Poinsettia is traditionally capitalized because it is named after a person. Although these traditional beauties aren’t difficult to maintain, watering poinsettia plants can be tricky. Learn a few facts about this traditional Christmas plant. Plus poinsettia leaves have an awful taste. Many plants in the Euphorbiaceae family ooze a … It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who is credited with introducing the plant to the US in the 1820s. Learn a few facts about this traditional Christmas plant. Poinsettias are native to Mexico. We can thank the derivation of the plant's name from Ambassador "Poinsett" for the numerous misspellings that abound. You bet it is! With the secret out and available to everyone, competition flourished, especially from Europe, resulting in a decrease of Ecke's share of the market. When laymen speak of the "flowers" on poinsettia plants, what they are referring to are petal-like leaves known as "bracts." January to March: Keep watering the poinsettia whenever the surface is dry. Long-day plants form flowers only when day length exceeds a critical minimum, usually more than 12 hours. As of August 2012, the Ecke Ranch, which was family-owned and operated for nearly 100 years, announced that it had been acquired by the Dutch-based Agribio Group. Intolerant of the cold, in the North, it is grown almost exclusively indoors. All the way from the deciduous tropical forests of Mexico, people bring this bright color plant to their home for holidays. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Poinsettias are the best selling potted plant in the United States and Canada. Taking this advice, she picked some roadside weeds on the way to church to make a bouquet. Flowering is dictated by a number of daylight hours available. The first bowl was played in December of 1952 and was created as a military services championship game, with the Western and Eastern military services champions competing against each other. Poinsettias received their name in the United States in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant into the country in 1828. Make sure the plant isn’t too wet or too dry The showy colored parts of Poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves). On the other hand, once Poinsettias finish that process, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest color. Since these are tropical plants, poinsettias are very frost tender. Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico. Plant grows in the partial shade, in areas that are frost-free. In other words, the more foliage the plant has, the longer it will last. In extreme cases, anaphylaxis can result. They are found in deciduous tropical forests at moderate elevations the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. Is "poinsettia" the botanical or the common name for the plants? In Chile and Peru, the Poinsettia is called the "Crown of the Andes". Many of the most common garden plants like Lilac, Hydrangea, … Wild poinsettias grow as small trees or tall flowering shrubs. The plants are raised in greenhouses (it is big business), to be sold as potted flowers for the holidays. In 1991, a university graduate student published an article that described a method for causing Poinsettias to branch. In Spain the Poinsettia has a different holiday attribution. The Ecke family had a secret technique that caused every seedling to branch, resulting in a fuller plant. Intolerant of the cold, in the North, it is grown almost exclusively indoors. Mar 25, 2012 - Prized for their bright, showy flower bracts, poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are a common sight in many homes during the holiday seasons. If Euphorbia pulcherrima is the scientific name for these plants, one may well ask how their common name (which looks like it should be a scientific name!) So unless you like to itch, avoid the sap, in case you are one of those prone to develop this rash. Montezuma, the last of the Aztec Kings, had Poinsettias delivered to him by caravan to what is now Mexico City, because Poinsettias could not be grown in the high altitude. History of Poinsettias. Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were found in the wild — in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa, down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. Another common misspelling involves inserting an extra T (the fact that "points" is a nickname commonly used in the florist and nursery trades probably does not help matters here). The Paul Ecke Ranch in California grows over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and does about 50% of the world-wide sales of Poinsettias. When mention is made of poinsettia plants, most people think of the color, red. Poinsettias are native to Mexico. The leaves are reportedly not very tasty, so it's highly unlikely that kids or even pets would be able to eat that many! They are typically treated as annual houseplants, but are actually deciduous tropical shrubs that thrive outdoors within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than a pound-and-a-quarter of Poinsettia leaves (500 to 600 leaves) to have any side effects. Poinsettias grow wild in Central America, in deciduous tropical forests, at moderate elevations. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Poinsettias have also been called the lobster flower and the flame-leaf flower, due to the red color. The colors of the bracts are created through "photoperiodism", meaning that they require darkness (12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row) to change color. If it survives until January, it will start shedding all of its leaves because poinsettias are deciduous and lose their leaves over winter. "There haven't been any deaths reported due to eating poinsettia leaves,” Wahl says. They are typically treated as annual houseplants, but are actually deciduous tropical shrubs that thrive outdoors within U.S. Botanically, the plant is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima. He sent cuttings of the plant he had discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina. You might want to keep your pets from snacking on poinsettia leaves. As you can see from the photograph below, wild poinsettias look quite different from the ones we grow today in greenhouses. Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico. Poinsettias are native to Mexico. The red Poinsettia still dominates over other color options. Think you know all about poinsettia flowers? Poinsettias are mildly toxic to dogs but the dangers are hardly ever serious or fatal. Dec 27, 2016 - Prized for their bright, showy flower bracts, poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are a common sight in many homes during the holiday seasons. The plant is native to tropical deciduous forests of Mexico, where they grow from 2′ to 12′ tall. The ‘blooming red flower’ is not a true flower but rather a collection of colored bracts or modified leaves. The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves). An NCAA college football bowl game in San Diego is named the Poinsettia Bowl. Poinsettias are not poisonous. Grow them in well-drained soil and in a sunny spot that receives a fair amount of shade in the afternoon—water needs are moderate to high. They exist in the hot, dry forests of the Mexican interior and can also grow in temperate coastal climates, such as the beach communities of Southern California. There, it is a deciduous flowering shrub, growing up to 10 feet in height. If you want to treat poinsettia flowers as annuals, you can grow them outside for a bit of extra greenery. Christmas is about a lot of things but for me Christmas is about plants: Poinsettias, Christmas trees, mistletoe and holly.Poinsettias are easy. Poinsettia, when it does not come from the garden center of our region, is a perennial deciduous shrub of the tropical regions of Mexico and Central America. People seem intent on spelling the name "poinsetta," for example (dropping the I near the end of the word). They are also found in the interior of Mexico in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Gurerro and Oxaca. They are also found in the interior of Mexico in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Gurerro and Oxaca. Poinsettias are actually small tropical trees or shrubs that can reach heights of 12 feet. 10 Interesting Facts About Poinsettias No flower says Christmas like the beautiful poinsettia. They are found in the wild in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. As you can see from the photograph below, wild poinsettias look quite different from the ones we grow today in greenhouses. Poinsett discovered them during an envoy to Mexico around Christmastime and introduced the flowers to the U.S.A. Here are the facts about the old myth and the new one: As many have pointed out, it is a myth that poinsettia plants are deadly poisonous if a child or pet eats the leaves (but that does not mean that the leaves should intentionally be eaten, either, since, if eaten in sufficient quantity, they can, in fact, make a human or pet at least mildly sick). Regarding the toxicity of Euphorbia pulcherrima, one could say, "A new myth has grown up in the process of dispelling an old myth." Even though poinsettias are not difficult to maintain but watering them can be little tricky. Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They are found in the wild in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. Imagine seeing a whole forest of poinsettias! At the very least, be sure not to touch your eyes after touching the sap. Dictionaries list poin-SET-ee-uh and poin-SET-uh as acceptable pronunciations. Plant taxonomy classifies Christmas poinsettias as Euphorbia pulcherrima, literally, "the most beautiful Euphorbia" (Euphorbia is not only a genus name but also the name of a large plant family). Thus was born an enduring Christmas tradition, as we continue to associate these "flowers" with the holiday season. These "are short-day plants." David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. You can even make a wreath full of white ones and insert a few contrasting rend poinsettias. Many deciduous plants lose their leaves at about the same time each year. Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plant. December 12th is Poinsettia Day, which marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1851. But when she arrived at the church, and it was time for her to present her gift, the bouquet of weeds was transformed into something much more colorful: red Christmas poinsettias! Forcing Poinsettias to Flower at Christmas, The "Flowers" of Christmas Poinsettia Plants, Poinsettia Aren’t Poisonous But Can Make You Sick, 9 Ways to Get the Most Out of Poinsettia Plants, 5 Different Species of Bird of Paradise Plants, The Best Low-Maintenance Succulents to Grow Outdoors, Common Backyard Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs, 12 Ways to Get Cheap or Free Garden Plants, 6 Itchy-Rash Plants and How to Identify Them, Tropicanna Canna Offers Fast Growth Rate, Colorful Leaves, 7 Indoor Plants That Are Dangerous to Children & Pets. Sound like a lot of work? Seven hundred years ago, the Aztecs called the plant Cuetlaxochitl, and used the red bracts for dye. They are typically treated as annual houseplants, but are actually deciduous tropical shrubs that thrive outdoors within U.S. A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than 500 leaves to have any harmful effect. Luckily, succeeding in growing poinsettia does not need to be a hard task, even if you are a novice gardener.