Advent is here and if they haven’t already shown up, poinsettias are sure to be in your church soon. The green and red foliage is just so festive for the season, a trait that was recognized a long time ago in its native Mexico, where they refer to the plant as flor de nochebuena, the Christmas Eve Flower. The English name “poinsettia” came from the man who brought the plant to the US, Joel R. Poinsett, an American diplomat who was sent south after the Mexican War of Independence in 1810.
The plants Poinsett imported would have borne little resemblance to the small potted plants that line church altars today. In the wild, poinsettias grow like trees, reaching heights of 8 feet. With their blazing red leaves, the great trees impressed Poinsett, who began taking clippings so he could send them to a South Carolina greenhouse to grow…[READ MORE]