About Poinsettia Day
A day to enjoy poinsettias as they are a staple feature in many households in the run-up to Christmas. The date honors Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the American diplomat who introduced the plant into the US. Poinsett served as a member of Congress and as secretary of war. He died near Statesburg, SC, December 12th, 1851.
First popularized as houseplants in the mid-twentieth century, poinsettias actually native to Mexico and Central America. They typically bloom in December, which made them a natural to become a Christmas plant and have become the traditional flower for December.
A traditional story tells about a poor Mexican girl who wanted to give a present to Jesus but she had nothing to offer. An angel came and told her to give a gift with love, therefore she gathered weeds from the roadside and placed them around the manger. As a result, they transformed into poinsettias.
The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves symbolise the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red-colored leaves symbolise the blood of Christ.
Because of its association with Christmas, Poinsetta is sometimes the flor de la Nochebuena or the flower of the Holy Night.