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Poinsettia

AKA:

Christmas Flower, Easter Flower, Étoile de Noël, Euphorbia poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, Fleur Pentecôte, Flor de Pascua, Lobster Flower Plant, Lobsterplant, Mexican Flame Leaf, Noche Buena, Paintedleaf, Papagallo, Pastora, Poinsettia pulcherrima.

Propagation:

There are two primary methods of poinsettia plant propagation. You can get new poinsettia plants either by planting seeds or by rooting a poinsettia cutting. Most people who propagate these plants do so by rooting a poinsettia cutting. This is the only way to ensure that you will get a poinsettia plant that is identical to the parent plant. It’s fun to plant the seeds though, and you may grow a great new variety. Most people who propagate these plants do so by rooting a poinsettia cutting. This is the only way to ensure that you will get a poinsettia plant that is identical to the parent plant. It’s fun to plant the seeds though, and you may grow a great new variety. Water the soil to keep it slightly damp and, in a few weeks, you should see new seedlings. Allow free air movement around the plants while they are very young to prevent diseases. To get the best new plants, cut healthy new stems from vigorous plants. Take three- to six-inch (7.5 cm. to 15 cm.) cuttings from parent plants just after their new growth starts in early summer.


History/Folklore:

The poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, is a member of the Euphorbiaceae or spurge family. This colorful plant was discovered near the present-day city of Taxco, Mexico and the valleys surrounding Cuernavaca (in southern Mexico) and was introduced to the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first appointed U.S. ambassador to Mexico. In Mexico poinsettias grow to be large woody shrubs, often reaching 10 feet tall. The ancient Aztec Indians of Mexico cultivated and regarded this plant as a symbol of purity before Christianity came to the western hemisphere. They called the plant cuetlaxochitl which means “mortal flower that perishes and withers like all that is pure.” Christianity then adopted the plant in early 1900’s believing the shape of the flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.


Medicinal: Poinsettia is a flowering plant. The whole plant and its sap (latex) are used to make medicine. Despite safety concerns, people take poinsettia to treat fever, stimulate breast milk production, and cause an abortion. They also take the latex for pain, to kill bacteria, and to cause vomiting. Some people apply poinsettia latex directly to the skin to remove hair, treat warts, and heal other skin disorders.

Spiritual:

They were considered sacred because they didn’t seem to die each year. Bringing evergreens indoors embodied the reborn spirit of the Green Man. With sacred trees, mistletoe, and other plants taken into the home, it is no accident that this is a magical time of year. Although the poinsettia has had little recognition for magical use, its red and green colors fit with the scheme of the season representing ongoing life. It is also appropriate for the Yule altar because it resembles a brilliant sunburst welcoming the return of the light. The Aztecs cultivated the poinsettia for its brilliant red color, which symbolized purity, and the need for sacrifice. While the red poinsettia symbolizes the returning sun, the color red also represents the life-giving blood of the Goddess, her power of regeneration, and the promise of renewal to come in the spring. today's language of flowers, red, white, or pink poinsettias, the December birth flower, symbolize good cheer and success and are said to bring wishes of mirth and celebration.


Conclusion:

This beautiful flowering plant, while in modern times has a Christian connotation, it’s meaning and spiritual properties far precede the Christian faith by centuries. Over the 1800 & 1900’s this beautiful plant has spread all over the world in various breeds and sizes and colors. The variants found all over the world are vast and just as beautiful as the original found in South America. It was thought as magical due to it’s ability to “live on” even in the coldest of winters. It’s a flower that has many functional properties across all cultures, religions and spiritual paths you may find yourself. So at this time of year, get yourself some of these beautiful plants and ponder on what it may symbolize for your holiday season!


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