At this time of year, as a gardener, my attention is naturally drawn to holiday plants. For years my fascination with Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus, Paperwhites, Amaryllis, and Mistletoe was handled by my ability to teach my elementary school garden club members about these living decorations we bring into our homes each year.
By researching all of the above plants, I found many of the facts surrounding their growth habits as well as how they snuck their way into our holiday celebrations to be interesting, so I share that interest with my students. The unit was so popular and met with such enthusiasm, I taught the same unit each December for twelve of the thirteen years I led the garden club.
Today, I decided to have a little fun with plant poetry. Although I am going to offer a draft of a poinsettia poem in a limerick style, I also wanted to share some poinsettia facts.
- Poinsettias are really tropical shrubs that grow naturally in Mexico. The first US embassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, brought a pointsettia back to the US with him after one of his visits to our neighbor to the South. It was 1826. The plant is named after him.
- When not cultivated, poinsettias grow quite tall. I ws able to stand next to one in December of 2015 when we were vacationing on the island of Maui. It was at least 12 feet high, growing alongside the road!
3. Until 2012, most of the poinsettias were grown at the Paul Ecke Ranch in California. But, the ranch was sold off in 2012. California is still the largest producer of the plant.
4. The colorful parts of the poinsettias are not the flowers but instead modified leaves called bracts. The flower of the poinsettia is the tiny yellowish cluster in the center of each bract.
5. Poinsettias can be kept from year to year but need a long period of darkness to have their leaves (bracts) becoming colorful again.
6. Poinsettias do not like drafts! This is understandable when you consider they are tropical plants. Keep away from doorways and radiators!
7. Poinsettias have a mythic reputation for being poisonous but you’d have to ingest an awful lot to even make you somewhat sick by way of a stomach ache. Years ago, Ohio State University did a study to disprove the poisonous reputation of the plant. Still, the myth persists!
So I played with the poinsettia today as a subject for a poem or two. Red is still the most popular of poinsettia colors. If you ever have a chance to go to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square Pennsylvania at holiday time, the Poinsettia displays there are swoon-worthy! Dr. Poinsett would be proud and amazed by the continuing beauty these plants provide us each year!
There was a plant named Poinsettia, Did it have red leaves? You betcha! They adorn our holiday tables, Some are even the subject of fables! It'll always be loved by Labuzzetta! © Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2021 (I think this is wonderfully awful! But, it does make me laugh!)
Red Poinsettias Line walkways Dot tables & alters Form tall trees Bringing joy to all! © Unfinished Draft, Carol labuzzetta, 2021
Today is Poetry Friday. Our host this week is Cathy at Merely Day by Day. Please check out her page for links to more poetry! Thanks for hosting, Cathy!