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Sun Dec 25, 2016, 10:00 PM

The Poinsettia - How a flower from Mexico became a world-wide symbol of Christmas




The poinsettia (/pɔɪnˈsɛtiə/ or /pɔɪnˈsɛtə/) (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family. The species is indigenous to Mexico. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico. It is found in the wild in deciduous tropical forests at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. It is also found in the interior in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas. Reports of E. pulcherrima growing in the wild in Nicaragua and Costa Rica have yet to be confirmed by botanists.

The Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as an antipyretic medication. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the plant is called Cuitlaxochitl, meaning "flower that grows in residues or soil" Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as Flor de Noche Buena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. In Spain it is known as Flor de Pascua or Pascua, meaning Easter flower. In Chile and Peru, the plant became known as Crown of the Andes. In Turkey, it is called Atatürk's flower because Atatürk, the founder of the Republic, liked this flower and made a significant contribution to its cultivation in Turkey. In Hungarian, it is called Santa Claus' Flower, and it's widely used as a Christmas decoration.

The plant's association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poinsettia

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Reply The Poinsettia - How a flower from Mexico became a world-wide symbol of Christmas (Original post)
Xipe Totec Dec 2016 OP
doc03 Dec 2016 #1
brer cat Dec 2016 #2
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 #3

Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 10:35 PM

1. They are pretty. I hope Trump* doesn't read that he will have them deported. n/t

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 12:03 AM

2. lol nt

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 07:26 PM

3. That plant has always seemed so mysterious! All the leaves are the same, yet the red ones

make it appear that it has distinctly red, separate flowers, when they are exactly the same as the green one, except for the color.

It seems so damned clever, so special.

Thank you for this information.

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