08 December 2009

Fun Poinsettia Facts

I know that you think this is a poinsettia:
Supermarket poinsettia

But I live in The Poinsettia City, where we have poinsettias like this:
Big poinsettia

Close up, they look like this:
Poinsettia bush

If you like the white kind, you can go over to my neighbor's house:

That's a big poinsettia tree!

Random Poinsettia Facts:

  • Those big pointy colorful things on poinsettias are not the flower. Those are bracts.

  • The flower is that weird little thing in the middle. If you want a long-lasting poinsettia, pick one where there is no yellow pollen showing on the flower.

  • Poinsettias are from the genus Euphorbia. There are some very weird-looking Euphorbias.

  • This may be why the Poinsettia's botanic name is Euphoribia pulcherrima, pulcherrima having the same root as "pulchritude" or beauty.
  • Many people think that Poinsettias are toxic, but you would probably have to eat a giant Poinsettia salad to make yourself sick. The sap of Euphorbias is known to be irritating to the skin, though, so wash thoroughly if you get the sap on yourself. And just to be safe, do not eat the leaves.

  • The world's biggest grower and breeder of Poinsettias is Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, California. They are responsible for all those cool curly, spotty and multicolored Poinsettias that come out each year.

  • Poinsettias are one of the most difficult holiday plants to grow. They need to be tricked into blooming precisely at Christmastime, which means providing them with exactly the right day length. Growers cover the little plants with blackout cloth or give them extra light at night to make them think the nights are just the right length for them to set flowers.

  • I was a horticulture major in college. Does it show?

Enjoy your holiday season. And buy some Poinsettias.

Your correspondent from The Poinsettia City,


Lynnea said...

Ok, the trees are gorgeous and until now I had loved the plant. But I never looked closely enough to see the mouth. I will never get that image from my head. Blech.

Suzanne said...

I love this and I really needed it today. Thanks.

Count Mockula said...

Wow, those trees are beautiful! I never knew they grew like that.

flurrious said...

I had no idea they got that big. I have a potted one that blooms periodically throughout the year, though if it happens at Christmas, it's just by chance.

mar said...

awesome! (my family owned a nursery for 45 years that was my paternal grandfather's dream. just sold it a couple weeks ago.)
you were a horticulture major? awesomer.

LittlePea said...

OH! OK! I love "Fun Facts" posts. Probably because I'm not good at those. The most helpful thing about this post is that now I'll definitely stay away from Poinsettas since I have really sensitive skin....

Those trees are so pretty, I didn't know they could grow like that.

lagata said...

Who knew they grew that big - well, besides you! Very interesting, I love poinsettias.

I think being a horticulture major is a very cool thing indeed!

Deodand said...

Wait, what? Those things grow...outside? *scratches head*

Ishrath said...

Loved this post because of the gorgeous photos and the inherent beauty of the plant. Never saw such a big one before and felt very happy to see it. Thanks for sharing.

kimberly said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful full size Poinsettia. I have 3 left over from Christmas and wanted to see what they looked like if I planted them. They are stunning! Thanks for all the info and I'm very happy to have fond your blog, also.

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