Friday, December 12, 2008

Poised Poinsettias, Cuetlaxochitl Celebrations!

Today is National Poinsettia Day. Let's CELEBRATE! Buy a Poinsettia ... give one to a friend! Set one beside you ... stroke it's leaves!

The plant's association with Christmas goes back as far as the 16th century. Native to South America, it is said the plant was mistaken for weeds by a young Mexican girl who was too poor to afford real flowers. When she placed them on the steps of her church on Christmas morning, the priest's found bright red blossoming flowers. From that point forward, the tradition of incorporating the plant during the Christmas season began. The plant's original, Aztecan name is Cuetlaxochitl. It adopted the name Poinsettia when introduced to America by botanist Joel Roberts Poinsett, in 1825.

Some little known Poinsetta facts:

- Joel Poinsett, died this day in 1851
- Chile and Peru call the Poinsettia the "Crown of the Andes"
- There are over 100 varieties of Poinsettias available and they are commercially grown in all 50 states, with California being the top producer
- $220 million worth of Poinsettias are sold during the holiday season
- Eighty percent of Poinsettias are purchased by women
- Poinsettias are the best selling flowering potted plant in the United States

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