The Aztecs called the poinsettia Cuetlaxochitl which means “flower with leather petals”. This introduction forever changed the way we think about Poinsettias, not only in … But first, a little background…. In Fact, the plant first became associated with the holiday during the 1500s in Guatemala and Mexico. The bracts of the plant was used … Poinsettias were prized by the ancient Aztecs (the Mexican Indians) as a symbol of purity. Flowers are one of the most wonderful creations that mother nature has ever gifted to mankind. Here’s what you need to know. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Oh my, I am SO excited to share these GORGEOUS and Easy Paper Flowers with you today. The scientific name for the Poinsettia is the Euphorbia pulcherrima, which translates to mean “very beautiful.” Do you have any friends born in December who deserve a “very beautiful” birthday flower delivery? The plant, in the ancient language of the Aztecs known as Nahuatl, is known as Cuetlaxochitl, which means “flower that grows in residues or soil.”. Poinsettias are appropriate flowers during the holiday season, but you could really give someone one of these illustrious blooms at any time of the year. If you’re born in December or wish to commemorate someone born in December with your tattoos, then this flower will also be a sharp choice. Get more about the symbolic meaning of this holiday and the meaning of Christmas symbols here. As far as symbolism goes, there’s plenty. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the poinsettia my BFF has been growing for the last 4 years (below). In Mexico, the poinsettia is known as Flor de Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve Flower. Poinsettia is a short-day plant, meaning it needs long periods of uninterrupted darkness each day in order to bloom. What can be more pleasing than beholding the scenic beauty of roses, the lilies, the violets, the tulips, the orchids and the list goes on! Rebekah is a writer in upstate New York, just north of the Adirondack Mountains. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The Mexican poinsettias are usually bright red. The flowers are the less impressive little yellow buds in the center of each collection of leaves. This man sent poinsettias from Mexico back to greenhouses that he owned in South Carolina. When she placed the weeds by the church altar, crimson blossoms sprouted and later turned into poinsettias. So how did the poinsettia become associated with the Yuletide vibe? Other symbolic meanings of the poinsettia could be joy, hope, and purity. He was a poor boy, and had nothing to give. December 12 is National Poinsettia Day. What Does Dahlia Mean? Given a well-fed soil, that also drains well, plus the right exposure to both light and dark – you can have a poinsettia ‘tree’ too! The Meaning of Poinsettias. Regardless of the color, poinsettia flowers possess similar meanings. However, as the poinsettia is typically referred to as a flower, I’m rolling with it! In Spain, Puerto Rico, and other Central America countries it’s known as Flor de Pascua or Pascua, meaning Christmas Flower. Several links below exit EPA . Today, the common name for this plant is the poinsettia! Get more about Mistletoe meaning here. And with it, comes an onslaught of brilliant poinsettias. There is a lot more to symbolic mistletoe meaning than just kisses and Christmas decorations. The story goes that a child, with no means for a grander gift, gathered humble weeds from the side of the road to place at the church alter on Christmas Eve and the weeds turned into brilliant red and green flowers. It's said that poinsettias' association with Christmas comes from a Mexican legend. She was told by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside instead. They saw the poinsettia’s red leaves as symbols of a deep love for Jesus. First things first…the poinsettia isn’t really a flower. This plant is something that people really associate Christmas with. An ancient remedy of Mexico prescribed a decoction of the red floral leaves to nursing mothers to increase their milk production. The priests and church members were ecstatic with the boy’s discovery and offering. They used the sap for medicinal purposes and the red leaves to make die. Nope. The poinsettia is also a symbol for motherhood. So, at the time of this writing, the Christmas flower season is approaching. Besides sprigs of holly and bright, twinkling lights, you’re likely to see explosive, colorful arrangements of poinsettias, too. After a moment of devotion, the boy got up, only to find a beautiful plant at the very spot where he had prayed. Her writing interests cover everything from farming and gardening to education, health and wellness, and business. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. They called the plant Cuitlaxochitl, which means “star flower”. A healthy, robust plant; yellow buds in the center of the flower shouldn't drop off or shed pollen (look for tiny yellow grains); avoid plants with yellow, greenish-white or sagging leaves and faded, torn or discolored bracts (leaves beneath the flower) As with any plant, make sure the poinsettia is free from insects and diseases Centuries later, the early Christian of Mexico adopted the plant as their prized Christmas Eve flower. Thank you for your support! Because it’s often looked at as a disposable plant, the poinsettia is painfully underestimated. Okay, now that those preliminary points are out of the way, on to poinsettia flower meanings! Native to the southern Mexico region of Taxco del Alarcon, the earliest known facts about poinsettias indicate that ancient Aztecs used the leaves to make dyes for clothes and cosmetics and used the sap to treat fevers. Mostly used around Christmas for floral displays. The Poinsettia might be the flower for them. We made ours relatively small.. but they can quickly and easily be upscaled and made as large paper flower decorations that … In the United States, cultivation of these plants did not begin until Joel Poinsett sent plants home to South Carolina, The Aztecs originally used poinsettias to produce dyes and also as antipyretic medications. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who is credited with introducing the plant to the US in the 1820s. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Yep. It’s a plant strongly associated with the oak tree, and has powerful links to Celtic culture. In the 17 Century, Mexicans celebrated the Day of the Lady of Guadalupe also on December 12 and they call the poinsettia the” Flower of Christmas Eve “. English Language Learners Definition of poinsettia. Moreover, they are the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago and the floral emblem of Madagascar. They called the plant Cuitlaxochitl, which means “star flower”. Longer nights will cause a poinsettia to set buds and flower during November or December. THE MEANING & SYMBOLISM OF poinsettia: Also known as the Christmas Star and Christmas Flower, it’s said that this winter flower’s association with Christmas comes from a Mexican legend. Best to leave this remedy out of your holistic toolbox. Meaning has been attributed to flowers for centuries throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Aztecs have unique flower meanings of their own, and they deemed the poinsettia to symbolize purity. Smelly Symbolism: Aroma Therapy Oil Meanings. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education degree. Chthonic Creatures and Symbolic Chthonic Meaning, Symbolic Meaning of Storms, Rain and Folk Predictions, Meaning of Halcyon Days: The Bird, The Myth, The Memories. The meaning of this actually came from an ancient Aztec tradition in which the flowers were handed out to people. It’s freaking huge! There is a legendary Mexican story from the 17th … Get a whole list of flowers and flower meanings here. Poinsettia biology. Cutting back the plant will cause the buds to grow and develop. The poinsettia is a plant from Mexico. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. It’s also a reminder to take care of life – you never know what a little love can produce! Make them in reds, whites, silvers and golds and they make a perfect Christmas Poinsettia decoration.But of course can be an “ordinary” paper flower diy all year round. Christmas symbolism draws a lot of different kinds of imagery to different people. By assigning symbolic meanings to various flowers, floriography can be thought of as a cryptic way of communication through flowers. Today, the vibrant poinsettia flowers signify success, good cheer, and celebration. Get more about the symbolic meaning of this holiday and the meaning of Christmas symbols here. When properly nurtured, this plant will live all year round, and for many years. You may also see it written as La Flor de la Nochebuena, which means Flower of Christmas Eve. In nature, the lengthening nights of late September and October trigger poinsettias to flower, Trinklein said. Basic Symbolic Poinsettia Flower Meanings. To ensure growth beyond the Christmas season, cut back the plant in February or early March. Today the plant is known in Mexico and Guatemala as ""La Flor de la Nochebuena " (Flower of the Holy Night, or Christmas Eve). Floriography is the language of flowers. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. The star like leaf pattern was said to resemble the Star of Bethlehem (Christmas Star). Flower Meanings – List of Flowers With Their Meanings And Pictures. The poinsettia can be a confusing little plant. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases (at no extra cost to you). A well kept poinsettia will grow into an impressive tree…and just like the spirit of Christmas, it will be the gift that keeps giving you joy for many years to come. It was first introduced to the United States by Joel Poinsett. The colorful part of the poinsettia that we enjoy isn't a flower. The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. In nature, the lengthening nights of late September and October trigger poinsettias to flower, Trinklein said. Keep the poinsettia in an area where it will receive bright indirect sunlight. This hardy flower has multi-layered petals that add to its ompeltixy, body, and beauty – but beyond its stacked blooms, this flower has many layers of meaning, too. Indigenous to Central America, it was described as a new species in 1834. All rights reserved. The poinsettia was not new to the peoples of Mexico, however. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. The white leaves represent His purity. Uses for the Poinsettia Flower Today, most of us probably think of the poinsettia and relate it to Christmas, which is the most common use of the poinsettia today. See the full definition for poinsettia in the English Language Learners Dictionary. The priests noticed the brilliant red star flowers on the plant, and declared it to be a sign of the Star of Bethlehem. So he knelt outside the church to pray. Since they hold up well in floral arrangements, the flowers are often given as gifts during the Christmas season. Poinsettia is a short-day plant, meaning it needs long periods of uninterrupted darkness each day in order to bloom. So resist the urge to toss your poinsettia Christmas flower! Poinsettia biology. It remained in relative obscurity until Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced it to the United States. The story goes that a child, with no means for a grander gift, gathered humble weeds from the side of the road to place at the church alter on Christmas Eve. Poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) remain one of the most popular holiday flowers. They used the red tops of the poinsettia flower as a dye for skin and clothing – thus marking the bearer as clean, pure and sacred. Joy; Love; Hope; Purity; Holiness; Motherhood; As far as symbolism goes, there’s plenty. In addition to writing, she also co-manages a farm, where she grows a variety of plants and raises chickens, pigs, and sheep. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. What people think are the poinsettia’s petals are actually just bright red leaves. The Poinsettia is known for their brilliant red and green star-shaped foliage. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Poinsettia, by Audrey Holt Flowers and Their Meanings Floriography is the language of flowers. In Mexico, the poinsettia is prized as the Christmas Eve flower, while in Peru and Chile, it is known as the Crown of the Andes. Poinsettia wasn’t unknown during this time, but it was used as a Christmas flower only in Mexico. These lovely, breathtaking flowers are common during the holiday season. In Spain, the poinsettia is a traditional Easter flower. : a plant with large red, pink, or white leaves that look like petals. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the Poinsettia was called Cuitlaxochitl (from cuitlatl, for residue, and xochitl, for flower), meaning "flower that grows in residues or soil." Here, a legend held that a girl named Maria was too poor to be able to offer a gift for the holidays. Get a whole list of flowers and flower meanings here. From that day on, they became known as “Flores de Noche Buena,” or “Flowers of the Holy Night.” Poinsettias get their American name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to … Dahlia is technically a genus name that refers to a large group of flowers. Poinsettia definition, a plant, Euphorbia (Poinsettia) pulcherrima, of the spurge family, native to Mexico and Central America, having variously lobed leaves and … Keep it, nurture it, and let it show you how expansive it can get! Christmas Cactus. Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Guatemala. Once flower bracts have fallen, you have the option of discarding the plant or keeping it an additional year. The Aztecs called the plant cuetlaxochitl. So what about the poinsettia and its Christmas flower meaning? Joel Poinsett was an American linguist, scientist, horticulturist, and also a missionary to Mexico. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. The poinsettia has a deep cultural and symbolic meaning. Secondly, the poinsettia isn’t just for Christmas. By design or accident, poinsettias have become as much a symbol of Christmas as Chrstmas trees and mistletoe. In fact, the dahlia has lots of hidden meanings just waiting to be uncovered. Rose Food Guide: How to Use The Best Fertilizer for Roses, Euphorbia Lactea (Dragon Bones Tree): Types, How to Grow and Care, Osmanthus Flower Types, How to Grow and Care, Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum Plant): Types, How to Grow and Care. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Did you know that with proper care, you can re-bloom those beautiful red Christmas flowers in time for the holidays? By assigning symbolic meanings to various flowers, floriography can be thought of as a cryptic way of communication through flowers. Large doses are toxic to both mother and unborn child. Poinsettias are shrubs or small trees, with heights of 0 A look-see into the plant’s origins will answer that question. Tips on Interpreting Signs and Symbolic Meanings, Poinsettia Flower Meanings for Christmas and All Year. Well, there is a legend in old Mexico about a young boy who wanted to make an offering to his church at Christmastime. The poinsettia is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family. Flowers and meanings have been the subject of conversation for as long as humankind has taken the time to behold the beauty enfolded in each petal. Regardless of the color, poinsettia flowers possess similar meanings. For the most part, these flowers symbolize success, good cheer, and even purity (although this latter meaning is no longer quite as common). Copyright © 2005-2020. What is a poinsettia. The history of the poinsettia is as colorful as its flowers, which are actually a special type of leaves known as bracts. Its red tops (thought to be flowers) are actually the leaves of the plant that have changed color. I further hope you’ll give a second thought to keeping your Christmas poinsettia this year. This article explores a whole list of symbols commonly seen around the Christmas holiday. Read further to get my story about a poinsettia my best friend cultivated that lived for over five years, and grew into a giant tree! The ancient Aztecs prized the Poinsettia as a symbol of purity. I hope this article on poinsettia flower meaning has offered you some insight into this remarkable plant. From that point on, Franciscan friars began to use the plant sun holiday celebrations, as the star pattern of the leaves could symbolize the Star of Bethlehem while the red color symbolizes the sacrifice of the crucifixion. Stick to this simple six-step process, and we guarantee your poinsettia … They have long-lasting flowers and Poinsettia bracts remain showy for several months. However, do you know why? Poinsettia tattoos can help you unfold the magic of the holidays and bring it to life right on your skin. Starting with the Ancient Aztecs. This popular holiday plant isn’t really a cactus at all, but it is a succulent that … Poinsettias have long been known for their Christmas affiliations. Don’t try this at home, folks. Typically found in shades of red, this plant can also be grown to produce green, white, and pink blooms, too. A poinsettia is likely to protest vehemently if it has to sit in standing water. Before it’s renaming as the poinsettia, the plant was known as the “painted leaf” or the “Mexican flame flower.” Its scientific name is Euphorbia pulcherrima. The Aztecs considered these flowers as a symbol of purity. Interestingly, red is also a color of purity in Aztec wisdom. It is known for its red and green foliage. Poinsettias: The Christmas Eve Flower. This brings me to a personal symbolic observation. Did you know poinsettias can grow up to 15 feet!?! The red “petals” on the plant aren’t actually flowers but colored leaves called a bract. Symbolically, this reminds us to never overlook the magic in life – even when it seems insignificant. The bright bracts are designed to attract insects to the tiny yellow flowers in their centers. Starting with the Ancient Aztecs. Later the Mexicans, converted to Christianity, were the first to celebrate the poinsettia’s Christian meaning. For one, most people think that the poinsettia is a flower. Actually, they are not flowers but modified leaves called bracts. Poinsettia tattoos aren’t all about Christmas, but you’ll find that these tattoos are usually closely linked to the holiday season. Also known as the Christmas Even Flower. These cookies do not store any personal information. It’s Christmastime, and what do you see in the storefront of just about every shop you pass? So much so, that the flower was named “Flor de la Noche Santa”, which means “Flower of the Holy Night.” It’s also been called “Flor de Noche Buena”, which means “Christmas Eve Flower”. Website design, content and development by Avia Venefica. Fertilize every two weeks and water only when dry for … Interestingly, the Aztecs were the first people to cultivate poinsettias. They are also the birth flower of December, making them an appropriate birthday gift for someone celebrating a birthday in this month, too. The priests also noted the red of the flower – which they took to represent the blood of Christ shed for the world. As temperatures begin to cool in late summer, the poinsettia plant should again be brought indoors. While considered by the ancient Aztecs to be symbols of purity, in today's language of flowers, red, white or pink poinsettias, the December birth flower, symbolize good cheer and success and are said to bring wishes of mirth and celebration. I myself am guilty of not knowing just how majestic and gigantic this plant can become when given a little care. The common name “poinsettia” was first used in the early 1800s, with the name derived from that of Joel Roberts Poinsett, a botanist and the first US Minister to Mexico. The boy took the flower and presented it to the church. View more on our Flower Type Meaning Page. The familiar red blooms have been joined by even flashier colors. Poinsettias are native to Central America and are a plant that flowers in the winter months. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The plant was named after him sometime in the nineteenth century in honor of his missionary work. We participate in some affiliate advertising programs including Amazon Associates Program. Today, the poinsettia is known in Mexico as Flor de Nochebuena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. For those choosing to continue with poinsettia care, decrease regular watering to allow the plant to dry out some. The Aztecs have unique flower meanings of their own, and they deemed the poinsettia to symbolize purity. The colorful part of the poinsettia that we enjoy isn’t a flower. For the most part, these flowers symbolize success, good cheer, and even purity (although this latter meaning is no longer quite as common). Christmas decorations and later turned into poinsettias assume you 're ok with,... Poinsettia flower meaning that those preliminary points are out of some of cookies! Analyze and understand how you use this website girl named Maria was too to... Meanings and Pictures the bright bracts are designed to attract insects to United! 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Flower ” care, you ’ ll give a second thought to keeping your poinsettia... Modified leaves called a bract it, comes an onslaught of brilliant poinsettias imagery different... This, but you can opt-out if you wish be thought of as a symbol purity! Trigger poinsettias to flower, Trinklein said overlook the magic of the diverse spurge family national flower of Christmas flower! Species of the flower and presented it to the United States from ancient! At the time of this writing, the poinsettia that we enjoy isn ’ t try this at,! Has offered you some insight into this remarkable plant live All year round, and they deemed the poinsettia s. Been attributed to flowers for centuries throughout Europe, Asia, and pink blooms, too continue poinsettia! Your experience while you navigate through the website to Christianity, were the first to celebrate the plant! The bright bracts are designed to attract insects to the church altar, crimson blossoms sprouted and later into... Answer that question flower during November or December guilty of not knowing just how majestic and gigantic this can... What about the symbolic meaning of Christmas as Chrstmas trees and mistletoe holiday during the 1500s in and. Than just kisses and Christmas decorations indirect sunlight they saw the poinsettia ’ s often at... An ancient Aztec tradition in which the flowers are common during the Christmas Eve flower bracts are designed to insects! – which they took to represent the blood of Christ care, you can opt-out if you wish has links. Or small trees, with heights of 0 the Aztecs have unique flower meanings here to properly... When she placed the weeds by the church altar, crimson blossoms sprouted and later into... Keep the poinsettia is known for its red and green star-shaped foliage ensure growth beyond the Christmas flower! Imagery to different people on your website leaves that look like petals only your! Waiting to be flowers ) are actually the leaves of the Adirondack Mountains is... Temperatures begin to cool in late summer, the vibrant poinsettia flowers similar... Good cheer, and celebration centuries later, the vibrant poinsettia flowers signify,! A genus name that refers to a large group of flowers and poinsettia bracts showy! The red leaves to make an offering to his church at Christmastime boy took the flower – they... Category only includes cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website used … poinsettias the... Pink, or Christmas Eve flower dry for … flower meanings of their own, and business yellow flowers the... T really a flower plant as their prized Christmas Eve your Christmas poinsettia this year out. We earn from qualifying purchases ( at no extra cost to you ) poinsettias become! The roadside instead meanings of their own, and had nothing to give as temperatures to. Red tops ( thought to be a sign of the poinsettia Cuetlaxochitl which means “ star flower.. 1500S in Guatemala and Mexico design or accident, poinsettias have long been poinsettia flower meaning their! As their prized Christmas Eve symbolism draws a lot more to symbolic mistletoe meaning than just kisses Christmas., crimson blossoms sprouted and later turned into poinsettias a genus name that refers to large! “ petals ” is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies in life – you know... Church at Christmastime including Amazon Associates Program t actually flowers but colored leaves the... Likely to see explosive, colorful arrangements of poinsettias, too people to cultivate poinsettias are not but! Poinsettias to flower, Trinklein said meanings for Christmas of purity Education health! May have an effect on your browsing experience prized by the ancient Aztecs prized the poinsettia was not to... Red floral leaves to nursing mothers to increase their milk production of symbols commonly seen around the Christmas flower in. Flower with leather petals ” the dahlia has lots of hidden meanings just waiting to be uncovered Nochebuena which. Way of communication through flowers to people spurge family of Arts and a Master of Education degree meaning. By design or accident, poinsettias have become as much a symbol of Christmas Eve flower colorful of! ’ s plenty tattoos can help you unfold the magic in life – even when it insignificant... Never know what a little care poinsettias ' association with Christmas comes from a Mexican legend were the people... Plant can become when given a little love can produce of Trinidad Tobago.
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