Like egg nog, roast turkey and Santa Clause, the Poinsettia is one of the classic symbols of Christmas. Traditionally grown in a velvety crimson colour this plant originated in Mexico, and is now grown throughout the world where climates and conditions are appropriate. Poinsettias are also now grown in different colours, most notably variants of pink and white in addition to the traditional red, and while the plant can grow to four meters, dwarf varieties are now available.
We have named it as the flower of the month for December due to its popularity at this time of the year among the flower buying public, although we need to mention it’s actually the bracts (outer leaves) that are the colourful part of the plant, with the flowers themselves being small and yellow in the center. Many also assume Poinsettias naturally flower in the months leading up to Christmas, although this is another common misconception in Australia, as they are manipulated to cater to the demand.
According to Aztec mythology the Poinsettia is known as the Flower of the Holy Night. The story sees a small Mexican girl, Pepita, without a gift to present as an offering to Christ on Christmas Eve. Influenced by the encouraging words of her cousin Pedro; “Even a humble gift given in love is acceptable,” she gathered a bunch of weeds as an offering. Upon delivering the gift at the church nativity, the weeds transformed into red blooms, and it was believed to be a Christmas miracle!
Flowers Vic encourages this sentiment when giving gifts this festive season, and wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!