December 2022

In some old village gardens, you may see tree poinsettias in bloom, which really need a humid environment in which to grow. Their bracts are a different shape to the potted variety, more elongated and have a bigger cluster of yellow flowers in the centre. Originally found growing wild in southern Mexico by Joel Robert Poinsett, an amateur botanist, they were developed over many decades to those we know today. They were said to be found in American nurseries as long ago as 1836 and have been popular there since then. I can’t remember them being in my mother’s home when I was a child, so I wonder when they started to be regarded as ‘the’ Christmas flower in Europe. In America there is even a special day dedicated to them – December 12!  

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