The lovely Poinsettia is a traditional Christmas plant sure to complement any of your St Albans home’s seasonal decorations. They are in fact native to Central America particularly Mexico and the ancient Aztecs called them 'cuetlaxochitl'.
The Poinsettia became widely known because of a man called Joel Roberts Poinsett. He was the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825. Poinsett had some greenhouses on his plantations in South Carolina, and while visiting the Taco area in 1828, he became very interested in the plants and began growing the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.
Perhaps the reason the plants became popular at Christmas aside from their colour is an old Mexican legend that goes like this: “There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As she walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up. 'Pepita', he said, "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy."
Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.”
You are sure to be able to find a magic poinsettia for Christmas at one of St Albans local garden centres Burston - St Albans · 01727 832444 or Aylett Nurseries Ltd. St Albans · 01727 822255 or Notcutts St Albans · 01727 853224.