Thursday, December 26, 2013

Poinsettias are Not Blase!

Who says poinsettias are blase? Well, a lot of people actually. I was one of those people, but have become a huge fan. Huge!
 I love them on antique postcards.......


on doilies....

My Mom made this beautiful doily for me.

on pillowcases.....

My Grandma Eldred embroidered this.
as Christmas ornaments....

on clocks.....

If it didn't say Christmas it would stay up all year.

on fabric....

This is the fabric I used to make my dining room table cloth.

 and antique handkerchiefs.....

 on wrapping paper......

and most especially on this antique picture my friend bought me. I love it!!!

Antique poinsettia print.

 Oh. Don't forget the candle holders.


 And those are just the non-living kind. We haven't even talked about the living poinsettias yet.
 They previously only came in red, white, and pink. But now, they are speckled, spotted, purple, blue, orange, and teal, just to mention a few.

A plethora of poinsettias.

Painted and glittered. I think they went a little crazy.....

 Living poinsettias are used to decorate all kinds of things including this beautiful cart at the Belle Isle Conservatory in Detroit, as well as this tree of poinsettias.

Belle Isle Conservatory

Pretty much, I love them on everything, no matter what it is. And if they are so blase, why are they the top selling flowering potted plant in America? 
So where did poinsettias, Euphorbia pulcherrima, come from? How did they become such an icon of Christmas? 
It all began in 1820's when the first United States Ambassador to Mexico,  southern plantation owner and botanist, Joel Robert Poinsett came upon this beautiful wildflower. He sent cuttings back to his greenhouse in South Carolina, and the rest is history. Who wouldn't love a brilliant red potted plant at Christmas time?

Some interesting facts about poinsettias.- Poinsettias are the #1 flowering potted plant sold in America, with over $250 million dollars in sales annually. Women make up 80% of the sales. Red is the #1 color , followed by white, and pink.  They are not poisonous, contrary to popular belief. National Poinsettia Day is December 12, to honor the day Joel Poinsett died in 1851.
Poinsettias have come a long way since the day Joel Poinsett discovered them and sent them to America. I wonder if he would even recognize the beautiful, compact, colorful plants that we have today. I think the painted orange, purple, and blue ones would blow him out of the water. They have an interesting history in America, and I hope you look at them a little differently now and next year decide to purchase one (or two or three) for your home during the holidays.