Celebrating National Poinsettia Day

Dan Nursery crops, This Land of Ours

celebratingCathy Isom gives us a bit of history and ways of celebrating the flower of the holiday season. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Celebrating National Poinsettia Day

Each year on the 12th day of December, people across the United States recognize National Poinsettia Day. The poinsettia plant’s connection to the Christmas season dates back to 16th-century Mexico. Legend tells of a girl who worried she had no gift to celebrate Jesus’s birthday because she was too poor. An angel tells her to give any gift with love. The young girl gathered weeds from alongside the road and placed them in the manger. Miraculously the weeds bloomed into beautiful red stars.

The poinsettia first came to This Land of Ours by way of Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851), an American botanist and the first United States Minister to Mexico. In 1825, he sent cuttings home to Charleston, South Carolina.

It wasn’t until the early 1920’s when Paul Ecke, a second-generation farmer in California, discovered a grafting technique which caused the seedlings to branch, that the poinsettia started to take root in American culture. The family hawked their Christmas flower at roadside stands. Paul Ecke Jr. advanced the sales of the poinsettia through shipping and marketing.

The poinsettia has become a $250 million industry in the U-S. They’re usually bought by women, resulting in 80 percent of sales.

Celebrate National Poinsettia Day by filling your home and front porch or patio with these beautiful seasonal plants. Use #NationalPoinsettiaDay to post on social media.

I’m Cathy Isom…