The Mexican poinsettia, known as the Christmas flower in North America, is used in most Christmas decorations, due to its red color and because the Christmas poinsettia blooms mainly in December. Native to Mexico, it is called Flower of the Holy Night there. The Mexican poinsettias are commonly bright red and now the Mexican poinsettia comes in pink, white, and other colors. The bright petals of the Mexican poinsettia, which look like flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant, called bracts. Some say these star-shaped bracts symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. These beautiful Christmas poinsettia flowers, which have become a symbol of Christmas, are used to decorate festive holiday decor for the Christmas holidays.

Outside of the Mexican territory this beautiful red leafed Christmas flower that is used to decorate for Christmas is known as the Poinsettia named after the former US ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel R. Poinsett who became the first United States ambassador to Mexico in 1825. Dr. Poinsett of Charleston, South Carolina introduced the poinsettia to the United States when he returned home in 1835 from his ambassadorship. History has said that Dr. Poinsett liked the flower so much that he dedicated the last years of his life to making the “poinsettia”, the symbol for Christmas, throughout the rest of the world. Today the Christmas poinsettia is the most popular Christmas flower for Christmas decorating in the United States. The poinsettia is also a popular household plant often used throughout the Christmas holidays. Other common names for the poinsettia include the Christmas flower, lobster flower, and Mexican flame leaf. Even though the poinsettia is a beautiful holiday flower you should be aware that the poinsettia’s hollow stem contains a milky sap that can irritate the skin and eyes and the poinsettia stems should be handled with caution.

Author Joe Willmeth. Check out his site for decorations