10 Fun Flower Facts for National Poinsettia Day

    1. The poinsettia’s association with Christmas comes from a Mexican legend. The story goes that a child, with no means for a gift, gathered humble weeds from the side of the road to place at the church alter on Christmas Eve. As the congregation watched, the weeds turned into brilliant red and green flowers.


    1. But, the most beautiful “petals” on the plant aren’t flowers at all, but lush red, white, or green leaves. The flowers are actually the little yellow buds in the center of each collection of leaves (the collection of leaves is called a bracht).


    1. In the US, the poinsettia is named after the US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the flower to us in 1825.


    1. However, the poinsettia is also known as the Christmas Star, Christmas Flower, Mexican Flame Leaf, Lobster Flower, Winter Rose, Flores de Nochebuena (“Flowers of the Holy Night – Christmas Eve), Crown of the Andes, and, in Turkey, Atakurk’s Flower (named after the founder of modern Turkey).


    1. Many people believe that poinsettias are highly toxic, but that is a myth. While it’s not recommended for people or animals to eat poinsettias, a 50 lb. child would have to eat 500 leaves to have a major reaction. Some people who have a latex allergy might find skin contact with poinsettia sap irritates their skin.


    1. The poinsettia is December’s birth flower.


    1. Left to its own devices, a poinsettia bush can grow to heights of 10 to 15 feet.


    1. There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today. Poinsettias can grow in colors like the traditional red, white, pink, burgundy, marbled, and speckled.


    1. More than 35 MILLION potted poinsettias are sold every year in the US, accounting for almost one quarter of the potted plants sold.


  1. Random Acts of Flowers branches will bring a little extra cheer to more than 5,000 vulnerable individuals in hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country by delivering poinsettias and other holiday flowers. Find out more on how you can support delivering hope during this season of giving on the Knoxville, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Silicon Valley, and Indianapolis branch websites.