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Christmas Miracle: 5 Poinsettias That Aren’t Tacky

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Christmas Miracle: 5 Poinsettias That Aren’t Tacky

December 16, 2013

Pity the poinsettia. After becoming the butt of so many jokes that the jokes themselves are the cliché, this hard-working holiday plant deserves better. Look at these pale beauties and then tell me you don’t want one in your house this Christmas:

Indigenous to Mexico, the poinsettia originally had an Aztec name: “Cuetlaxochitl.” Thank you, Joel Roberts Poinsett, for bring the plant to the United States in the early 1800s–and for having a surname that simplified matters for us non-native Náhuatl speakers.

Above: A potted poinsettia from The Home Depot in its nursery pot (painted gold). Photograph by John Merkl.

Photograph by Michelle Slatalla. For more, see Poinsettia: Rethinking a Traditional Christmas Flower.
Above: Photograph by Michelle Slatalla. For more, see Poinsettia: Rethinking a Traditional Christmas Flower.

A big reason for the poinsettia’s 20th century surge was a breakthrough in breeding: small, compact, red bushes captured the Christmas market. But let us not forget that the poinsettia comes in other calmer colors. We love those shades: pink, salmon, cream, blush, white.

Photograph by Justine Hand.
Above: Photograph by Justine Hand.

For more, see DIY Poinsettia: A Common Christmas Plant Goes Luxe. For growing tips, see Poinsettias: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design.

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