Poinsettia plants and their festive connection

Many years ago, the Aztecs used poinsettias to dye clothes and as a cure for various ailments. The colour red was associated with health, which meant it was often included in religious rituals. Of course, poinsettia plants are associated with Christmas and here is what you need to know about the history of this gorgeous festive plant.


History and popularity

It was only in the 19th century that the plant was introduced to America. Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, United States ambassador and botanist, travelled to Mexico. He discovered the plant in the desert and was so struck by its beauty that he brought it home to South Carolina. Poinsettia plants were officially named after the botanist and soon became an important part of Christmas celebrations and decorations. It is also interesting to note that National Poinsettia Day is celebrated on December 12 in the United States.


Holiday legend

If you’re wondering how this plant became associated with Christmas, it’s largely due to a Mexican legend. It is said that a poor girl wanted to give Jesus an elegant gift on Christmas Eve but she couldn’t afford anything. An angel appeared to him and she told him that any gift would be fine if it was given with love. The angel told the girl to gather some weeds and bring them to church. The girl did so and the weeds transformed into beautiful poinsettias. This is how the poinsettia plants became associated with the holiday season.

So, whether you want to add colour to your home or you wish to present somebody with a special gift this festive season, you should take a look at poinsettia plants at your favourite florist.