I forgot how early it gets dark these days but I did manage to snap a few shots of the lovely poinsettia next door. I also learned a few things about my favorite Christmas plant.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 2 to 13 feet. The plant bears dark green leaves that measure 2.8 to 6.3 inches in length. The colored leaves — which are most often flaming red but can be orange, pale green, cream, pink, white or marbled — are often mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors.
The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.
That’s today’s lesson on the Poinsettia …