Happy Poinsettia Day Date 2018: The Poinsettia Day was designated by the House of Representatives in July, 2002. This day is observed in order to honor the founder of the poinsettia industry, Mr. Paul Ecke Jr. The poinsettia plant is widely used in the Christmas celebrations. The flower of the poinsettia plant is used in decorating the homes and churches as well.
The poinsettia basically has its origin in Mexico. It is mostly known for its green and red foliage which is quite attractive. The plant got its name from the first Minister of the United States, Mr. Joel Roberts Poinsett. He introduced this plant to the US in the year 1825.
As the Poinsettia is native to Mexico, the Aztecs used to call it by the name Cuetlaxochitl. Cuetlaxochitl means ‘star flower’. Aztecs were the members of the Nahutl people who established their empire in Mexico and the same empire was overthrown by the Cortes in the year 1519. The Aztecs used the flowers to produce red dye. The watery solution of the same flowers was used to cure fever.
Happy Poinsettia Day Date 2018
The plant was first seen into use in the 17th century when it was the nativity ceremony, the Fiesta of Santa Pesebre, in Mexico itself. The people who took part in the procession of the celebrations carry these flowers with them and this was for the first time when this flower was introduced here. There are many legends regarding how the plant came into significance.
Legends of Poinsettia Day
One legend describes the story about a poor and young Mexican girl named Pepita. She was feeling quite depressed as she had nothing to gift the baby Jesus. An angel saw her in tears and told her to gather some weeds that were seen growing nearby. As she was collecting the weeds, her tears fell on them and they turned into blooming red flowers. So this legend describes the miracle that took place which brought importance to the Poinsettia in the Christian mythology.
Some other legend mentions the way in which the Fransiscan mendicants used to celebrate the Christmas. They used to adorn their premises and churches with some kind of leaves on the nativity day. As the Star of the Bethlehem passed overhead at the time of mass, the green colored leaves turned into red ones. Form this very day the poinsettia, which was prior the symbol of Aztec sacrifice, now became the symbol of the Jesus Christ’s blood and was then, associated to the Christmas celebrations.
On the 12th of December, the Poinsettia, “la flor de Nochebuena”, is displayed around Dia de la Virgen in Mexico. On this very day in 1851, Joel Poinsett died and hence the date is commemorated for the same. In the year 1828, Joel Poinsett was the first Ambassador of the new republic Mexico. While he was on a visit to the Taxco region, he discovered a ruby-red plant and was very much fascinated with it. He then sent some of the plants to his residence situated in Charleston which comes in the South Carolina. As he returned back to his home from the visit, he forwarded those plants to some of his friends. Mr. Poinsett was a doctor and soldier by profession.
Mr. Poinsett has sent those plants to Mr. Buist. Mr. James McNAb then bought those form Mr. Buist and planted them in the Botanical Garden of Edinburgh. The plants flowered twice in the month of December and then again flowered in the month of February.
A person named Albert Ecke migrated from Germany to Los Angeles in the year 1900. In the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles, he opened a Dairy and an orchard. He was keenly interested in the poinsettia plants and decided to sell them form streets to streets. His son, Paul developed the grafting technique. But then Paul Ecke Jr., the son of Paul Ecke, associated those plants with the Christmas celebrations. He also used to send those plants to the television stations free of cost in order to show them on air on the Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
The Ecke family had shifted their operation to Ecinitas, California in 1923. By the year 1990, they decided a strategy in order to make their plants look more attractive. By grafting two poinsettias plants together, they started producing a more compact plant. The plants which are left to grow on their own used to possess somewhat weedy look. The Ecke’s strategies made the plant look bushier as compared to the weedy ones.
In 1991, some university found out the technique known only to the Ecke family and started publishing it. The family business of the Eckes that was led by Paul Ecke III was put to a stop by stopping the production of the plants in the US. But as recorded in the year 2008, the plants still had 80% share of the domestic market and 50 of the global market.
Susceptible to Several Diseases
It is known that Poinsettias are susceptible to several diseases, mostly fungal, but also bacterial and parasitic. There’s a misconception that poinsettia is a highly toxic plant. This misconception spread by the year 1919 when a two-year-old kid consumed the leaves of this plant and suffered from death.
Drawbacks of Poinsettias
The latex and sap of some plants are not toxic, but the poinsettias latex causes an allergic reaction. It irritates the skin and stomach mildly, and if consumed, it causes vomiting and diarrhea as well. Happy Poinsettia Day Date 2017