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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Poinsettia, the Christmas Plant

The poinsettia (correctly pronounced with four syllables, poin-SET-e-uh) is closely associated with Christmas, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. Riding down Mexico way, you will come to the area where they were first discovered. The plants we see in the stores are not likely to be "natural", but grafted and cultivated — their history is rather interesting.

Poinsettias are a gift from our Creator and associated with Jesus
Credit: RGBStock / APRILM
Poinsettias tend to bloom around the date that is observed as Christmas, so we have that going for us. It is also associated with Jesus, since some folks associate the star shape with the star of Bethlehem, and the red coloring with the blood of Jesus. There are rumors that this plant is poisonous, but that's the opposite of the truth. Someone may get sick by eating them, so leave them out of your Christmas salad. Also, they are not poisonous to pets, but again, they may get sick if they take a notion to eat the things. There are other plants that people and animals need to keep out of their mouths.

Interestingly, they are cleansing to the air. Back in the olden days, the sap was used for several purposes including fever potions, toothache remedy, and others (I don't recommend such activities). Also, they were used to make red dye. Nowadays, they are cultivated into different colors and such, and you can even purchase poinsettias that are far from their natural colors but look nice to some people. Poinsettias are finicky plants, but if you give them proper care, they can stay around and look good for a spell. Like so many other plants, the poinsettia is a gift from our Creator for our pleasure and benefit.
Few things signal the start of the Christmas season in the West quite like the poinsettia. We even have a day to celebrate this cheery plant on December 12—National Poinsettia Day. How gracious of the Creator that, in a season when most plants are dead or dormant, he designed the radiant poinsettia to bloom in winter, adding a splash of color to brighten the dismal days.
To read the rest, click on "How the Poinsettia Came to Brighten Christmas".