December 19, 2011
Q. What is the number one potted plant sold in the United States?
Poinsettias were introduced into the United States in 1825 by Joel Robert Poinsett. He was the first United States Minister to Mexico. He discovered the beautiful red-flowering shrub in the Mexican countryside and brought back cuttings to his own greenhouse in South Carolina.
According to a recent blog about National Poinsettia Day, "the plant's association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus birthday. The tale goes that the child 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."
The University of Illinois Extension web page, dedicated to facts about poinsettias, indicates that they "are the most popular Christmas plant even though most are sold in a 6 week period."
National Poinsettia Day is December 12th.
Additional information on the Poinsettia plant can be found in The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola.
Blue Springs South Branch