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Betty L. Torain

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A Little History (Poinsettias). And believe It or Not.
by Betty L. Torain   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, December 10, 2005
Posted: Friday, December 09, 2005

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Red Poinsettias Are The Traditional Christmas Flower In The United States And Through Out Much Of The World....

Poinsettias have a fasinating history and tradition. Poinsettias are actually woody shrubs native to Taxco, Mexico where they grow wild outdoors to a height of 10 feet. The Aztex Indians of Mexico cultivated and regarded them a symbol of purity before Christianity came to the Western-hemisphere. They also made a redish purple dye from the bracts and used the milky latex sap to counteract fever.

Francis Priest settled near Taxco during the 17th Century and began to use them in their Nativity processions because of it's appropriate holiday color and blooming time.

Poinsettias were introduced into the United States in 1825 by Joel Robert Poinsett. While serving as the frist United States ambassador to Mexico, he discerned the wild poinsettias growing on the hillside near Taxco. Poinsett sent plants to his home greenhouses in Greenville, South Carolina and then began giving plants to botanical gardens and horticultual friend.
A nurseryman friend in Philadelphia started the frist commercial propagation and sale from some Poinsett's plant. These wild plants lasted only a few days in the home.

The Poinsettia industry was pioneered and developed by Ecke family of California in the early part of this century. During the mid-'50's plant breeding research was started and led to many of our current improved varieties(cultivars).
Today's Poinsettias is a free branching hybrid plant larger,longer lasting bracts. And is our traditional Christmas flower.

Now Here Is My Believe It Or Not:

I live in a senior citizen"s community. And a couple years ago. Our 10 year old poinsettia bloomed all summer. It was kept on a table near a south window there was plenty of light. I did-not do anything special. It had the most beautful red bracts you ever wanted to see. Of course it is in poinsettia heaven now. But, we really enjoyed it!

Thanks, to Mrs Butler for sharing her Poinsettia with us.

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Reviewed by Veronica Hosking 12/9/2005
I believe it. I live in AZ and about 4 years ago I still had my poinsetta out in April. My mom came to visit and planted it outside. It either didn't like the soil or was getting too much sun because it didn't last long after that. But before then it kept my house looking festive for 5 months.
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