Poinsettia - Flor de Nochebuena
The Legend & History of the Christmas Flower
A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who
no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services.
As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro,
her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy."I am sure, Pepita, that
even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes," said
Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside
and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a
small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt
more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness
of her offering. She fought back a tear as she entered the
small village chapel.
As she approached the alter, she remembered Pedro's kind
words: "Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be
acceptable in His eyes." She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to
lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.
Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds
burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they
had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.
From that day on, the
bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the
Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas
Nochebuena, the Mexican name of the flower
call Poinsettia, was discovered in Taxco and the valleys
surrounding Cuernavaca. Known by the Aztecs in their native
Nahuatl language as Cuetlaxochitl, it was prized in the
prehispanic era for the curative properties of the milk that
dripped from the leaves, stems and flowers when
Its greatest promoter, however, was Joel Roberto
(1770-1851), who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
following Mexico's Independence from Spain. He fell in love
with the plant and brought some back to decorate his mansion
in Charlestonville, South
Carolina during Christmas, and upon his return home several
years later he was astonished to find the entire town growing
the Christmas flower, or "poinsettia" as it was now known.
millions of dollars of poinsettias are sold each year throughout the world to
herald the Christmas season. Poinsettia are not disposable plants as most people
believe, but can be planted and rebloom. My abuela had huge plants in her
backyard which bloomed year around. * Poinsettia
Plant Care Tips
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