These red and green potted plants are hugely popular in America and Europe at Christmas time and are starting to catch on in Australia, where the hot Christmas climate is much friendlier to these tropical plants. Poinsettia colour comes from red, pink or orange bracts that surround the tiny flowers, which contrasts nicely with the dark green lower leaves.
Despite the fact that many members of the Euphorbiaceae are toxic, Poinsettias are not.
Poinsettia is grown in glasshouses. Supplies come mostly from Victoria, NSW and Qld.
What to look for
- Buy when bracts are fully coloured;
- Avoid pots with drooping leaves or where bracts have fallen off.
- Never refrigerate
- Remove the plastic sleeve around the pot.
- Keep pots inside in the cooler months.
- Place pots in a well-lit place, ideally in partial (but not full) sun.
- Check pots daily and water if dry.
- Poinsettias are very sensitive to ethylene. Keep them away from fruit, car exhausts and cigarette smoke.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
They are named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the U.S. in 1825.
Botanical Name: Euphorbia pulcherrima
Common Names: Christmas Star, Poinsettia
Country of Origin: Mexico to Central America
Available Colours: Green, Pink, Red