Indeed, December 12th is the day of the Poinsettia. Who knew? Here is a little history on how the plant came to be here in the United States, although indigenous to Mexico. “Joel Roberts Poinsett was the first United States Ambassador to Mexico being appointed by President John Quincy Adams in the 1820’s. At the time of his appointment, Mexico was involved in a civil war. Because of his interest in botany he introduced the American elm into Mexico. During his stay in Mexico he wandered the countryside looking for new plant species. In 1828 he found a beautiful shrub with large red flowers growing next to a road. He took cuttings from the plant and brought them back to his greenhouse in South Carolina. Even though Poinsett had an outstanding career as a United States Congressman and as an ambassador he will always be remembered for introducing the poinsettia into the United States.” (Some website…)
And for those who are looking for the ultimate Christmas flower, the Ecke Family is credited with being the largest grower in the country, and I can personally attest to the brilliance of the gorgeous plants grown by the southern California family. They are spectacular and if cared for properly will last way past Christmas. I have kept one alive and thriving for several years myself. Red, white, pink are only three of the most popular colors but they come in quite the assortment of varied shades. I naturally prefer red!