National Poinsettia Day

Today, the team at Avalon Family Dentistry learned that December 12th was National Poinsettia Day.  It is amazing what will prompt you to look into new things!  Dr. Lee was admiring a Poinsettia in our reception area.

Did you know that the Poinsettia is Native to Central America?  They were abundant in an area in Mexico, called Taxco del Alarcon.  The plant had many practical uses for the Aztecs in the area, from dying textiles to medicinal purposes.

The rest of the world may never have known the beauty of the Poinsettia had it not been for Joel Roberts Poinsett.  Joel was the son of French physician.  He also attended medical school, but his true love was botany.  He actually founded the institution that today is known as the Smithsonian Institution.  Poinsett had plantations in South Carolina, and while visiting Taxco, Mexico, he had some poinsettias shipped back home.  He began growing them and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

One of the people who received a plant was John Bartram.  He then gave the plant to a friend, Robert Buist.  He was a nurseryman in Pennsylvania.  He is thought to be the first person to have sold the plant under its botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima.  The plant became known by its popular name around 1936.

Congress in turn honored John Poinsett by declaring December 12th as National Poinsettia Day.  This date commemorates the date of his death in 1851. Info gathered from

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