Christmas Poinsettias Flower 2021
In addition to being the most well-known Christmas flower, the poinsettia is also the most popular potted flowering plant, with thousands sold each year in the United Kingdom and United States.
Also known as “the Christmas flower,” “lobster flower,” or “Mexican flame leaf,” the poinsettia has a rather colorful history dating back to the ancient Aztecs who considered the plant a symbol of purity. A few hundred years later, Christians in Mexico thought that the star-shaped leaves symbolized the Star of Bethlehem that led Joseph and Mary to the stable where Jesus was born. This, coupled with the fact that the plant was in full bloom during the Christmas season, caused people to associate them with the holidays, which is why they are still the most commonly used plant for decoration at that special time of year.
Poinsettias also have a place in Mexican legend that explains why the mostly red plants are known as Christmas flowers. Long ago, a poor child would wander down a road on Christmas Eve on his way to church, fearing he had no gift to present the Christ Child on his birthday. He picked a few weeds along the road and took them to the church where the congregation said any humble gift given out of love was good enough, and soon the weeds turned into colorful red and green leaves, causing the people to call them a christmas miracle.
Natives of North America, who are from Central America, can thank a man named Joel Roberts Poinsett for bringing the plant back to the United States after visiting Mexico, while he was there as a resident in the early 1800s. the very first American ambassador served. The son of a French physician, Poinsett was a botanist from Greenville, South Carolina, who had once received medical training but had a keen interest in plant life.
In southern Mexico, Poinsett noticed the fiery red flowers bloomed in abundance in an area known as Taxco del Alarcon. Since he already had his own greenhouses at home, he excitedly sent back some of the plants where he would soon grow and share them with friends and colleagues.
Now the poinsettia can be found in different colors in addition to the traditional Christmas red. The plant naturally blooms in shades of cream, pale, lemon yellow, pink and peaches, both with splashes of gold and white throughout the leaves, which are erroneously called flowers, but are in fact the top leaves of the plant known for like the endpapers.
Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia, or part of the entire plant, is not poisonous. Scientific research conducted by various entities such as Ohio State University and Carnegie Mellon University and Children’s Hospital, both in Pittsburgh, have found no toxicity, neither to animals nor to humans.
Of course the flower is still not meant to be ingested and a cat or dog could have an upset stomach after eating quite a bit of it, but pet owners need not avoid enjoying the beauty of the poinsettia for fear of a accidental poisoning.
National Christmas Star Day
In honor of the man who first introduced the now-famous plant to the country, December 12 has been declared National Poinsettia Day in the United States, the date of the death of Joel R. Poinsett. In addition to the Christmas plant being named after him, interestingly enough, Poinsett is also credited with founding what we know as The Smithsonian Institute.
How the poinsettia became the most famous Christmas plant
The poinsettia has become the most famous Christmas plant. In fact, the poinsettia plant (and the red poinsettia in particular) has become a symbol of Christmas around the world. Discovered fairly recently (by traditional standards), the poinsettia is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico, who imported it from Mexico in 1828.
The legend of the poinsettia tells of a poor village boy in Mexico who wanted to give the Holy Child a gift, but had no money. In desperation, he picked some weeds on his way to church to leave as his gift. He prayed to God to help him show his love and God answered by turning the weeds into a beautiful star-shaped flower with bright red leaves. Since then, the poinsettia has been a Christmas symbol.
Poinsettia plants can last for weeks after the holidays if placed in indirect sunlight for at least six hours a day. Keep it away from cold drafts and excessive heat, and water your poinsettia when it feels dry. Remember that at Christmas the air is dry or you may need to water it more. After the blooming season is over, use an all-purpose fertilizer once a month for best results.
It was once believed that poinsettias were poisonous, this is not true – they are safe. However, avoid allowing your pets to eat the leaves as they will likely develop diarrhea or vomit. However, for humans there is ample scientific evidence for the safety of poinsettias and well documented, in fact poinsettias are even helpful in removing pollutants from indoor air.
The history of the poinsettia plant is quite interesting. The plant is native to Mexico and comes from a region near present-day Taxco. In 1825, Joel Robert Poinsett was appointed the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and discovered these flowering plants in December. Poinsett was a botanist himself and sent some of the plants to his plantation in Greenville, South Carolina, where they thrived in his greenhouse. These brilliant red plants quickly became a favorite during the cold dark months of December and with over 70 million poinsettias sold annually across the country, the poinsettia is now the number one potted flowering plant sold in North America.
Poinsettia – the Christmas flower
Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Central America. The ancient Aztecs considered the poinsettia a symbol of purity. Montezuma, the last Aztec king, had poinsettias brought to Mexico City by caravan because the poinsettia would not grow at great heights.
The bright petals of poinsettias are actually leaves or bracts, and the flowers themselves are very small and yellow. The Mexican poinsettia is bright red, but poinsettias are also available in cream, yellow, pink and peach. Centuries ago, the sap of the poinsettia was used to fight fever and the bracts were used to make a reddish dye. Poinsettias can grow to heights of 16′ and thrive in climates where temperatures stay between 50 and 70F.
Legend has it that one day around Christmas, a Mexican child who was too poor to buy a present for the Christ Child plucked a bouquet of weeds from the side of the road to offer as a gift. When she reached the church, she went to the altar to offer the bouquet.
To her surprise and that of all onlookers, the plant bloomed in red and green flowers. This was declared a Christmas miracle. From that day on, poinsettias were known as the Flowers of the Holy Night.
Today, poinsettias are the most easily recognizable flower that symbolizes Christmas. Poinsettias are also known as the “Christmas flower” and “Mexican flame leaf.” Poinsettias are now the best-selling potted flowering plant in the United States and are usually sold for a six-week period around the holiday season.
Fabulous Christmas cakes with buttercream poinsettia!
The poinsettia, known in its native Mexico as the poinsettia because of its star-like shape, blooms profusely in the wild during the Christmas season in Hawaii, the Caribbean Islands and its native Mexico.
This Christmas plant is so loved in the United States that holiday purchases total more than the annual sales of any other potted plant here, with 80 percent of these plants coming from a California grower. So it makes sense that your cakes decorated with the perennial popular poinsettia will be a big hit!
Decorating with buttercream poinsettias is a beautiful (and with the following instructions) easy way to bring Christmas cheer to your cakes, whether as a featured decoration or as part of a Christmas scene you create.
Before we move on to the piping how-tos for this incredibly easy-to-make flower, here are some eye-catching ways you can use the scarlet (hands down the most popular variety) poinsettia on your Christmas cakes.
-A border of small poinsettias will make a nice frame for many Christmas cake designs. – Poinsettias can be part of the design. For example, pipe a poinsettia on Mrs. Frosty’s hat on a cake decorated with snowmen. -Use the poinsettia in place of a bow on a cake decorated as a gift (with icing ribbons running horizontally and vertically across the top and down the sides like on a package). Pipe a large poinsettia in the center. -Make a poinsettia wreath around the top of the cake. Pipe a few rows of leaf edges (with dark green frosting and overlapping), then pipe your poinsettias on top of the wreath. Then with round tip, pipe red, holly berries between the poinsettia. Write your Christmas message in the center of the cake. -Decorate a multi-layered, stacked Christmas cake (or Christmas wedding cake) with cascading poinsettias. -Make a bouquet of poinsettias with cupcakes. Pipe the Christmas flower on each cupcake and then assemble your Christmas cupcakes on a large platter. Or place them on a layered stand and place real poinsettias in a vase on the top layer.
And here are the instructions for how to spray buttercream for your Christmas cookies.
First you need:
-Icing bags or parchment cones.
-Leaf tips (nozzles) 352 and 366 (Poinsettia petals are technically bracts, modified leaves, so it makes sense that we would use a leaf tip to create them 🙂
-Buttercream icing in red, green and a little bit of yellow.
-White frosted cake or cupcakes. (Cream cheese frosting or snow-white buttercream works well, but the poinsettias are also beautiful on chocolate ganache.)
1. If you are going to write a Christmas message on your cake, remember to leave room for it. Practice first because you spray these flowers directly on your cake (or cupcakes).
2. With red buttercream icing and tip 366 in your bag, squeeze and pull for each petal, continue until you have five. The wider end of the petals will meet in the middle (it’s okay if the center is a little empty because you’re going to be adding more petals).
3. For your second layer, spread the petals on the first layer. And you may want to add a few in between on the bottom layer.
4. Then, for a more natural look, use tip 352 with green icing to spread the green immature petals behind the bottom layer of the red one. This also sets off the red nicely and creates a more Christmasy look.
5. Finally, with round tip 3, pipe a few yellow dots in the middle.
Variation: You can also make the green leaves with point 366 so that they are the same size as the scarlet petals. Or vice versa, if you want smaller flowers, use point 352 for the petals.
Here’s one last but important tip for your Christmas cakes. The amount of liquid food coloring needed for your red icing will give a bitter taste (due to Red #2 in the food coloring), so here’s what you can do to combat the bitter:
– Use more concentrated forms of coloring gel, paste and powder colorings are all more intense than liquid. These can be found in specialty stores, major craft stores, such as Michaels, and online.
Start with a glaze that is naturally colored with a pink or red juice concentrate, such as cranberry or pomegranate. Then you need less dye to get your Poinsettia red.
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