Poinsettias are plants native to Central America and in particular an area of southern Mexico known as Taxco del Arcon.
The Aztec used to use them to make dye for clothes and their sap for treating fevers.
In 1825, the US Ambassador to Mexico saw the plants and became interested in them. He sent some back to Carolina, USA, and began growing them and sending them to friends. His name Joel Roberst Poinsett!
But why are poinsettias and Christmas linked together? It is from an old Mexican legend.
A poor Mexican girl called Pepita had no present to give the baby Jesus at a Christmas Eve service. She walked into the chapel, looking sad. Her cousin, Pedro tried to cheer her up saying that even the smallest present would make Jesus happy. Pepita picked a handful of weeds from the roadside and made a small bouquet. She was embarrassed, but tried to remember what Pedro had said. She put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene and it burst into a bouquet of bright red flowers. Everyone thought it was a miracle.
From then on, the flowers became known as the “Flores de Noche Buena” (Flowers of the Holy Night).
Wishing everyone who celebrates a Merry Christmas.
A Happy and Healthy New Year to One and All.
From all at ACS.