This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Red and Green.’ See more responses here.
Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) have been associated with Christmas for centuries in Mexico and Central America, where the plant hails from. The plant was introduced to the United States in the 1800s, but it wasn’t until the last century that the Christmas link really took off. This was mostly due to savvy marketing tactics by the Ecke family, which had a monopoly on the poinsettia market thanks to their discovery of a secret grafting method which produced a denser plant and wasn’t duplicated until the 1990s.
The red ‘flowers’ are actually bracts, which hold the fairly insignificant flowers. On the Big Island, their brilliant displays are quite common on the west side of the island, where they can be seen as bushes and trees.