The Legend of the Poinsettia and Other Information
The legend of the poinsettia dates back to the 16th century and goes something like this: One Christmas Eve in Mexico a child who was very poor did not have a gift to present to Christ. Having been encouraged to give a humble gift the child gathered weeds from the roadside on his way to church. A Christmas miracle occurred as the child entered the church and approached the altar with his humble gift of weeds. The weeds turned into beautiful red and green flowers. Shortly after, the flowers were given the name Flores de Noche Buena, which means “flowers of the holy night.” In addition, it is believed that the star-shaped pattern of poinsettia leaves symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. It is also said that the dark red leaf color represents the blood of Christ.
In addition to being symbolic of Christmas, there are other interesting facts about the poinsettia.
Poinsettias mean to be of good cheer.
Poinsettias represent purity.
Poinsettias were used by the Aztec people to make red dye.
The Aztec people used the white sap of poinsettias for the medicinal purpose of reducing fevers.
Poinsettias originated in Mexico and South/Central America.
December 12th is Poinsettia Day in the United States.
The Ecke Family controls 70% of all poinsettia propagation and sales.
The flowers are very small and yellow.
The bright colored petals are known as leaves or bracts.
Poinsettias are available in the following colors: bright red, cream, yellow, pink, and peach.