December 12th is National Poinsettia Day! Today celebrates the favorite holiday plant, the poinsettia! The date marks near the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, an American botanist and Minister to Mexico who sent cuttings of the plant he had discovered in Southern Mexico back to his home in South Carolina back in 1828.
Although the plant is technically a Mexico native, as The Aztecs considered the plant a symbol of purity because of their red color, 90% of all poinsettias are exported from the United States. While that’s just where the plant got its start, in 2002, the House of Representatives created National Poinsettia Day in honor of Paul Ecke. Ecke discovered a technique that caused seedlings to branch, ending in the Poinsettia industry to take off.
While Poinsettias are usually associated with Christmas and the holiday season, they continue to be the best selling potted plan in the United States and Canada; contributing nearly $2,500,000 to the US economy. Celebrate today buy heading out and purchasing a poinsettia for family, friends, or loved ones!