Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Poinsettia Time Again!

A Very Brief History of the Poinsettia

The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a culturally and commercially an important plant species of the diverse spurge family that is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the United States in 1825.

After supplying his own greenhouses, Poinsett also distributed plants to various botanical gardens and to some horticultural friends, including John Bartram of Philadelphia. Bartram, in turn, supplied the plant to Robert Buist, a nurseryman, who first sold the plant as Euphorbia poinsettia. The botanical name had already been given by a German taxonomist in 1833 as Euphorbia pulcherima. The poinsettia, however, has remained the accepted name in English speaking countries.


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