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Poinsettia Fun Facts

December 17, 2012

I posted this on my old blog a few years back, but I thought it would be fun to share again, since it is the season…

I know that you think this is a poinsettia:
Supermarket poinsettia

But I live in The Poinsettia City, where we have poinsettias like this:
Big poinsettia

Close up, they look like this:
Poinsettia bush

If you like the white kind, you can go over to my neighbor’s house:

That's a big poinsettia tree!

Random Poinsettia Facts:

  • Those big pointy colorful things on poinsettias are not the flower. Those are bracts.
  • The flower is that weird little thing in the middle. If you want a long-lasting poinsettia, pick one where there is no yellow pollen showing on the flower.
  • Poinsettias are from the genus Euphorbia. There are some very weird-looking Euphorbias.
  • This may be why the Poinsettia’s botanic name is Euphoribia pulcherrima, pulcherrima having the same root as “pulchritude” or beauty.
  • Many people think that Poinsettias are toxic, but you would probably have to eat a giant Poinsettia salad to make yourself sick. The sap of Euphorbias is known to be irritating to the skin, though, so wash thoroughly if you get the sap on yourself. And just to be safe, do not eat the leaves.
  • The world’s biggest grower and breeder of Poinsettias is Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, California. They are responsible for all those cool curly, spotty and multicolored Poinsettias that come out each year.
  • Poinsettias are one of the most difficult holiday plants to grow. They need to be tricked into blooming precisely at Christmastime, which means providing them with exactly the right day length. Growers cover the little plants with blackout cloth or give them extra light at night to make them think the nights are just the right length for them to set flowers.
  • I was a horticulture major in college. Does it show?

Enjoy your holiday season. And buy some Poinsettias.

Your correspondent from The Poinsettia City,

  1. Robin permalink
    December 17, 2012 13:55

    Poinsettias are what I miss most about living there. Thanks for posting the great pics of them Bobette! Xo

    • December 21, 2012 14:21

      You are welcome. I might trade poinsettias for fall leaves, though.

  2. December 17, 2012 14:12

    Do you know the one: you can lead a horticulture…..?

  3. December 18, 2012 13:45

    That is just cahrayzie! Don’t eat them.

    • December 21, 2012 14:20

      The bleeding milk instead of sap thing freaks me out a bit.

  4. December 24, 2012 00:04

    I’m shocked! How very cool in tree form. Thanks for learnin’ me!

  5. December 24, 2012 11:43

    I’ve never seen poinsettia plants like that before. Gorgeous!

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