Nothing says Christmas like the Poinsettia!

Everyone knows this plant. Also everyone knows it was named after Joel Poinsett who was our ambassador to Mexico. He introduced the plant to our country in 1828. Today, the Poinsettia is the most popular and best-selling container plant in the US. And, don’t worry…no, it is not really poisonous. A 50 pound child would have to eat 500-600 leaves to have an upset stomach!
This Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, is native to Mexico and cannot grow outdoors, here in our winter. However, we can grow the Wild Poinsettia, Euphorbia cyathophora. Of course it is not as showy as the Christmas Poinsettia. It is a reseeding annual with lobed leaves. The upper leaves develop a red blotch near the base. Just like the Christmas Poinsettia, these red leaves are not flowers but called bracts. You can see the actual tiny yellow flowers of each Poinsettia in the pictures. It is just a sweet wildflower that can grow in our summer garden that has a story to tell to gardening friends!♦

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