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|History and Legend of the Poinsettia|
|Flower Holidays, Occasions & Parties - Christmas Flowers|
Poinsettias were first introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Robert Poinsett, amateur botanist and first ambassador to Mexico. He introduced the plant to the United States when he brought some cuttings to his plantation in Greenwood, South Carolina.
December 12 is National Poinsettia Day, an official day set aside to enjoy this symbol of holiday cheer. It was established upon the death of Mr. Poinsett to honor him and the plant he made famous. He died in 1851.
Poinsettias are native to Mexico, where they grow wild. The enchanting legend of the poinsettia dates back several centuries, to a Christmas Eve in Mexico when a little girl named Pepita had no gift to present to the Christ child. Her cousin Pedro urged her to give a humble gift. So, on her way to church she gathered some weeds she found along the road. As she approached the altar, a miracle happened: The weeds blossomed into brilliant flowers. Then they were called Flores de Noche Buena - Flowers of the Holy Night. Now they are called poinsettias.