The poinsettia is a leafy floral plant that is commonly associated with Christmastime due to its bright red flower and vibrant green leaves. It originates from Central America and gets its name from the man who made them popular, Joel Roberts Poinsett. The plants were sent north to a greenhouse in Philadelphia by Poinsett in the early part of the 19th century. The Paul Ecke Ranch picked up the cultivation of the plant in 1909, but it wasn't until the 1960s when the ranch started marketing the plant in association with Christmas. While the red poinsettia is the most well-known color, the white poinsettia is a standout among all the colors found in the plant with its gentle tone. Here's a look at why the white poinsettia is the best poinsettia of all.
Are There White Poinsettias?
Yes, there are white poinsettias. In fact, poinsettias come in red, pink, purple, multi-colors and salmon pink. When looking for a white poinsettia, keep in mind that the pink poinsettia is sometimes referred to as being white in color. Also worth noting is the fact that the white poinsettia looks off-white or light cream in person. New flower petals sometimes emerge with a pink cast to them, but the pink fades out as the petal grows and matures.
What Do White Poinsettias Mean?
White poinsettias were once considered to be symbols of purity by the Aztecs, but now it's now the flower for December birthdays. The poinsettia is also said to be a symbol of good cheer, success, and bring with them wishes of happiness and celebrations.
One story about poinsettias and Christmas involves the red poinsettia instead of the white, brings together the association of poinsettias and Christmas. A Mexican legend holds that a young child was unable to buy a gift to place at the church altar on Christmas Eve. The child picked weeds from the side of the road and placed them at the altar. Shortly afterwards, the congregation witnessed a miracle as the weeds turned into red flowers with green leaves, AKA poinsettias.
Who are White Poinsettias Good Gifts for?
White poinsettias make great gifts for people who have birthdays in December. It's also a lovely housewarming gift for someone who's bought a new home and hosting their first Christmas gathering. The poinsettia makes a good gift for someone who lives in a warm climate as it's a perennial that can survive in frost-free zones. Last, but not least, the poinsettia is safe to give as a gift to someone who has pets. The plant is non-toxic although the sap can cause an upset stomach if ingested by pets or humans.
The white poinsettia is a lovely alternative to the traditional red poinsettia. Bring it as a gift, or buy one for yourself, and enjoy the plant for the Christmas season and throughout the year.