Project 2010 - Flower of the Month
Motif 12 for December: Poinsettia
Poinsettias traditionally symbolize success and good cheer. It has been associated with Christmas through a Mexican legend that involved gift-giving. The legend states that there was a child who could not afford gifts to offer Christ on Christmas eve, and instead picked some weeds on the side of the road. The child was told that a gift given in love would be acceptable in God's eyes. When brought into the church, the weeds miraculously bloomed into red and green flowers. Thus, these flowers became part of Christmas decorations. The ancient Aztecs regarded poinsettias as a symbol of purit.
The bright red, pink, or white colors of the Poinsettia, which are perceived as the petals of the flower, are really leaves called bracts. The actual flowers are small, yellow clusters of balls in between those brilliant bracts.