Annie's "Poinsettia" Page

 

Have you ever wondered how the Poinsettia became a Christmas symbol?
Well if that is the case then wonder no more.

 

The Legend of the Poinsettia


It once was the custom in Mexico
For the villagers to leave
A gift for the Baby Jesus
In their church on Christmas Eve.
In one small village, a little boy
Who had no give to bring.
Prayed to God for a way to show
His love for the infant King.
God, in His mercy, looked down on the boy
And answered his earnest prayer
By causing a flower to bloom where he knelt--
A flower so brilliant and fair.
The miraculous flower was formed like a star
With leaves that were red and so bright.
And the boy's precious gift
Has come to be known
As the "Flower of the Holy Night."
~From an Ambassador Christmas Card~

The Dictionary tells us this about the "Poinsettia":

Main Entry: poinĚsetĚtia
Pronunciation:
poin-'se-tE-&, ¸point-, ¸-'se-t&
Function:
noun
Etymology: New Latin, from Joel R.
Poinsett died 1851 American diplomat
Date: 1836
: any of several spurges (genus
Euphorbia) with flower clusters subtended by showy involucral bracts; especially : a showy Mexican and Central American plant (E. pulcherrima) with tapering usually scarlet bracts that suggest petals and surround small yellow flowers
[poinsettia illustration]


This is what The World Book Encyclopedia says about the Poinsettia:
"Poinsettia, pronounced poyn SEHT ee uh or pronounced poyn SEHT uh, is a plant that has tiny flowers surrounded by large, colored bracts (special leaves). The bracts are usually bright red, but may also be yellowish or white. The brilliant red bracts contrast with the green leaves and make the poinsettia popular for decoration during the Christmas season. In tropical and subtropical regions, the poinsettia thrives outdoors. It may grow 2 to 15 feet (0.6 to 4.6 meters) tall. The poinsettia is native to Mexico. It is a popular garden shrub in the Southern States and California. In cold climates, the poinsettia must be grown indoors. As a potted plant, it grows from 1 to 4 feet (30 to 120 centimeters) tall. The leaves and stem can cause abdominal cramps if eaten. The plant's sap can irritate the skin and eyes.
Scientific Classification: The poinsettia belongs to the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. Its scientific name is Euphorbia pulcherrima."


Compton's Encyclopedia says this:
"Poinsettia, a slender shrub (Euphorbia pulcherrima) 2 to 10 ft (0.6 to 3 m) or more in height bearing small yellow terminal flowers surrounded by flaring scarlet bracts sometimes 9 in. (23 cm) long; native to Central America and Mexico; named for Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851), who first brought it to the U.S. from Mexico."


Compton's also tells us how the Poinsettia became a Christmas Symbol:
"Another plant often used for decoration during the holidays is the poinsettia. Mexican legend holds that these beautiful red flowers, thought to resemble the shape of the Star of Bethlehem, first grew miraculously for a poor child who wanted to bring a gift to the manger scene at the village church but did not have any money. Poinsettias were introduced to the United States in the early 19th century by Joel Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico."


Compton's tells us about the man behind the Poinsettia:
"Poinsett, Joel Roberts (1779-1851), U.S. statesman, born in Charleston, S.C.; secretary of war under President Van Buren 1837-41, but mainly remembered as the diplomat after whom the poinsettia plant was named; studied at St. Paul's School in Edinburgh; spent most of the years 1801-09 traveling; special government agent in South America 1809-14; S.C. legislator 1816-20; member of U.S. Congress 1821-25; 1st U.S. minister to Mexico 1825-29; it was as an amateur botanist that he brought from Mexico the plant that was renamed for him."


History Fact & Fiction:
Urban Legends has a page
Christmas legends section with a page about the Poinsettia. They ask & answer the question of: Are Poinsettia plants poisonous to humans?
Why are there poinsettias on the hearth? from Howthingswork.com
Poinsettia Not Lethal, Experts Say


Crafts & Activities:
Make a Hanging Poinsettia Basket
Make a Silk Poinsettia Banner
Poinsettia Napkin Rings
Poinsettia Broaches
Poinsettia Christmas Desktop Wallpaper from Country Tidbits Graphics
Poinsettia Fan Craft & Poinsettia Activities!
P p is for Poinsettia Poster & Coloring Page


Caring for you Poinsettia:
Care for a Poinsettia & Keep a Poinsettia Going After Christmas
Transplant a Poinsettia to Your Garden


Christian Devotional Links:
It's All In The Poinsettias! - A Devotional from Barb

Poinsettia Adoptions:

Poinsettia Christmas Bear Adoptions:

I adopted my cute Poinsettia Bears from
Irene's Country Home!

December Angel Adoption:
This December Angel was Adopted at My Country Stop!
I adopted my December Angel from
My Country Stop!

Don't Miss this Related Page:
Annie's "Christmas Adoptions" Page - too many to describe!!

Click here to send a Poinsettia Card to a friend!
Poinsettia Day is December 12th

Poinsettia Blinkies:





Order a bouquet of red
Christmas flowers this season
in remembrance of the poinsettia tradition.

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Visit:
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