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It's All About the "Leaves" and a Photo

The year, 1828. The man, Robert Poinsett, the first ambassador from the U.S. to Mexico. While visiting the Taco area of Mexico, Poinsett came across a plant with brilliant red "flowers" and was taken by it's beauty. Being the amateur botanist he was, he immediately sent plants back to South Caromina where he began growing them and sending them to friends. One of his friends was John Bartram of Philadelphia. At the very first Philadelphia flower show Bartram had some of Poinsett's plants on display and Robert Buist took notice. Buist had a seed, nursery and greenhouse business that specialized in roses and rare plants. Because of Buist, the poinsettia, named after John Poinsett was introduce to the buying public and the rest, as they say, is history.

The poinsettia has seen many changes over the years going from a tall rangy plant growing in fields of Mexico to the colorful gift plant we have today. Colors range from the traditional red to pastels, purples, whites, marbled colors and even yellows. Those colors are all because of leaves. What we call flowers are actually modified leaves called bracts that start to color up when the days become shorter during the fall and winter. The actual flowers are small, green or yellow and grow inconspicuously in the center of each bunch of bracts. If that were all a poinsettia had going for it I doubt many of us would consider using it as a mainstay holiday gift plant.

One last note : Rumors, wives tales and just plain misinformation had the poinsettia labeled as poisonous. An Ohio State University study showed that 50 pound child could eat 500 bracts and maybe have a slight stomach ache but due to their bitter taste, I doubt he would get past two. However, the white, milky sap can have allergic properties, especially for people with latex allergies.

So come on in and enjoy our colorful selection of poinsettias. They have colored up great since the first pictures were posted on November 8th.While you're here stop in for a photo. Bring your camera, kids, relatives and friends and take a photo with our tree. It's all set up just for that perfect 2019 Christmas photo.

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