Happy Poinsettia Day!

December 12 is officially Poinsettia Day, so designated by the US House of Representatives. July 2002, the House of Representatives approved a resolution honoring Paul Ecke Junior, who is considered the father of the commercial North American Poinsettia industry.

I remember growing up in Mexico City, Mexico and having Poinsettia trees in our backyard. Paul Ecke developed a technique that causes Poinsettia seedlings to branch, making what are trees in their original habitat more manageable potted bushes. The Ecke's technique remained a secret until the 1990s when a researcher published the formula.

Poinsettias are part of the Christmas holiday tradition. Poinsettias are the favorite Christmas flower in both the US and Canada. Their red bracts are actually leaves that have been turned red by being deprived of light.

red Poinsettias

Aren't they beautiful? Now imagine them the size of dogwood trees!