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December 3, 2015

No flower says Christmas better than the poinsettia, and today was the annual poinsettia sale at the Arkansas Tech greenhouse. This student run operation is led by professor and Mr. Poinsettia Jim Collins who was artfully dressed today. poinsettia sale (4) They had a good crowd and a wide array of varieties to choose from.poinsettia sale (2)

poinsettia sale (3) They also had many student hands on deck to help carry and handle the sales. poinsettia sale (9)

poinsettia sale (10) They also dye some poinsettias and even though some are my color–I am not too interested in these, but they sure are unique. poinsettia sale (7)

poinsettia sale (8)
I did run into some Master Gardeners and had a nice visit with Jim. poinsettia sale (5)

poinsettia sale (6)
I did buy quite a few. Poinsettias don’t come just in red anymore. There are whites, pinks, bi-colors, and various shades of reds. Flower shapes can also differ. poinsettias nov3.153 The Christmas rose is typically a smaller poinsettia with bracts that bend back. poinsettias nov3.151 Notice I didn’t say petals. The true flower of a poinsettia is called a cyathia and is the small yellow clusters in the center. poinsettias nov3.155 The showy parts with color are modified leaves called bracts. Poinsettias are members of the euphorbia family and have a milky sap. While often called a poisonous plant, that is not true. People with latex allergies can have had a skin reaction if they come in contact with the sap, but that is about the extent. Some pets may also experience some nausea if they eat the sap, but it is best to teach children and pets, not to eat any houseplants.

The poinsettia was introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Robert Poinsett, the first U. S. ambassador to Mexico. In Mexico, these plants are perennials and begin to color up as the days get shorter. There are now over 100 varieties of poinsettias, but most outlets carry 5-10 different choices. To keep them looking their best, provide bright sunlight and even moisture. With just a little care they can continue to be showy for months. I usually tire of them by April or May and toss them. poinsettias nov3.154 If you don’t have any, there may still be some left at AT in Russellville. Their sale continues tomorrow.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 3, 2015 8:48 pm

    Thanks, Janet, that was interesting and such pretty pictures – as well as of you. You’ve never looked better! Merry Christmas and blessings to you and your family. Sharon & B

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