CHRISTMAS POINSETTIA – The Story of a Beautiful Plant

Christmas Poinsettia is one of the beautiful plants that spread their soothing fragrances across Mexico. This beautiful plant of red and green foliage is widely used in Christmas Floral. He was Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first Minister to Mexico from the United States, who proposed this name in around 1825 for this plant.

Since the Christmas season is going to start, this “Christmas Plant” can be seen everywhere in Mexico and other countries as well. The plant is particularly used to decorate a Christmas Floral and for other type of decorations done for Christmas parties and events. If you are a lover of this plant, you should read the following history and origin of it.

It was not a plant related person or a horticulturist who invented this beautiful name for this amazing plant, but he was a famous American physician and congressmen, Joel Roberts Poinsett who came up with this name. In the early 1820s, the U.S’s president of that time, John Quincy Adams appointed Mr. Poinsett as the Ambassador to Mexico. Since Mr. Poinsett had a deep interest in Botany, he remained involved in introducing different flowers and plants in Mexico. So many times, he would wander in the country in search of new plant species.

Once, when he was walking on a road having some shrub along the side of the road, he saw some large beautiful red flowers and got attracted by the beauty of that plant. He just took some cuttings from that red plant and took them to the South Carolina, in his greenhouse. It was the first time when the world came to know about this plant and for this, this dutiful and notorious US Ambassador to Mexico will always be remembered by those, who love flowers.

During the 14th to the 16th century, the Poinsettia was a famous and important plant to the Aztecs, but they called it as “Cuetlaxochitl” that means “Flower that grows in residues or soil”. The plant was used for medicines, design, and for different other multiple purposes. The red colored leaves were also used for a dye in clothing. Since the plant has lacking of hardiness in the cold weather and couldn’t grow in the high altitudes of Mexico, the famous Aztec King Montezuma brought this plant in the Mexico City using caravans.

After some hundreds of years, a famous botanist, Juan Balme also discussed about Poinsettia in many of his writings. He was Carl Ludwig, who assigned the botanical name “Euphorbia Pulcherrima” to the Poinsettia. He was stunned to see the beauty of this plant and gave this botany name that means “very beautiful”.

The Botany Department of the University of Illinois confirms that the world famous botanist, William Prescott also published a book about this plant and named the book as “Conquest of Mexico”.  The book was written to give honor to John Poinsett, who discovered the plant at his time.

The Poinsettia was used as a cut flower first in the early 1900s by a horticultural family from San Diego. The family also introduced it as a landscape plant. Shortly after the introduction as a landscape plant, people also started to use it as an indoor plant and within some years after this, the plant was adopted as “The Christmas Plant” because of its immense beauty and red and green colors.

The plant of Poinsettias is certainly not poisonous and there are also no such harmful effects if someone even eats it. At study done by Ohio State University claims that if a child whose weight is 50-pound eats  more than 5000 leaves of the plant, there will be some chances that it will provide some harmful effects. Just because its leaves have an awful taste, your pets will also prefer not to eat them.

Today, the Poinsettias is the most famous plant not only in Mexico, but in many countries of the world. It is widely known as the “Flower of the Holy Night (Christmas Night)”. Thousands of people come from the United States and other countries to celebrate the Christmas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and they prefer to stay only such rental villas in Puerto Vllarta where they could easily find the Poinsettias.

In Mexico, 12th December is considered as the day of the Poinsettia because on this day, its discoverer, Joel Robert Poinsett passed away from this world. While you are buying a Poinsettia plant, better buy that one in which the “Cyathia” is still closed.

News Reporter