Monday, December 22, 2008

History Lesson

Joel Roberts Poinsett 1779-1851
Have you ever heard of him?
He was a gentleman well versed in knowledge as he studied medicine, law and military science. He was also fluent in Spanish, French, German and Italian. He was active in United States politics serving in the House of Representatives, he was a trailblazer for what is now known as the Smithsonian Institute and President Madison appointed him to the Ambassador to Mexico.
He also had an interest in horticulture and was an amateur botanist. While he was living in Mexico a plant caught his eye, Euphorbia pulcherrima. In 1826 he brought this plant to America and it was first called "painted leaf" or Mexican fire plant. Today we know it as Poinsettia as it was renamed in his honor.

I buy a poinsettia every year but for some reason I don't have much luck with these plants. Their leaves drop off quickly. I do love the white ones the best if they're pure white, not greenish white.

They come in various colors, I think these look like pinwheels.

This one is a pretty salmon color, a nontraditional color for Christmas.

The red seems to be the most popular color. Did you know that the actual flower is the little yellow clusters in the middle and the colored leaves or petals are called bracts.


Anonymous said...

Poinsettias are so beautiful. I love all the different colored ones.
I enjoy looking at them very much. Thanks for the info..I didn't know that!

Kitten Herder said...

Fabulous pictures!

I love Poinsettias. Sadly, they are poisonous to kitties, and my cats tend to chew on every plant I bring into the house. Still, I love the pics!