There is a day dedicated to the beautiful red Christmas flower, but how did this plant become associated with the holiday?
Legend says that a little girl in Mexico was sad that she had no gift for Jesus. She was poor and could not buy anything. An angel told her that any gift given with love was good enough. So she picked weeds from the side of the road and laid them at the manger. Those weeds soon bloomed into beautiful red stars.
The plant first came to America in
1825 from Joel Roberts Poinsett. He was the Minister to Mexico and an American botanist. He brought the cuttings to his home in South Carolina. But it took Paul Ecke to learn to graft the seedlings and market the plants.
The House of Representatives declared December 12 National Poinsettia day in 2002. It was intended to honor the father of the industry - Paul Ecke - and the man who brought them to the US - J.R. Poinsett.
So go out and buy yourself a beautiful poinsettia and celebrate the holiday! (Side note - they are poisonous so keep them away from pets and children).