A native of the American continent, the Poinsettia was discovered in 1828 in Mexico by Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett of Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Poinsett spent four years as the United States' first minister to that country. The Mexican people called the flower " Flor de la Noche Buena" ( Flower of the Holy Night or of Christmas Eve.) They believed that when blood fell on the earth from the broken heart of a yound girl, a Poinsettia plant grew from each drop. Dr. Poinsett took his discovery to a friend in California where the Poinsettia thrived. Today the region twenty miles north of San Diego is known as the "Poinsettia Belt."
Description: A showy species with oval to elliptical, or bold, mid-green leaves. The spectacular coloration is found in the scarlet leaf-like bracts which grow beneath the small, yellow cluster of flowers.
Care: Poinsettias need bright light to hold their color, and adequate humidity to prevent the bottom leaves from dropping off. They need good drainage and water daily.
If you want to have your Poinsettia another season try sinking the pot in a sunny garden after frost danger has passed. Prune the stemms severely, water and fertilize regularly until the cool nights arrive. Lift the pot and bring it indoors again to a cool, sunny window.
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