World Poinsettia Day, what is it?

World Poinsettia Day, what is it?

World Poinsettia Day – History

World Poinsettia Day has been traditionally celebrated for more than 150 years on December 12th. United States Ambassador to Mexico from 1825-1829, Joel Roberts Poinsett sent specimens of the flower to his South Carolina greenhouses thus introducing the native of southern Mexico to the United States. Poinsett died December 12th, 1851.

Long before the plant was called a Poinsettia, the Aztecs referred to it as Cuetlaxochitl.  In the 17th Century Aztecs used the plant (sap) to treat fever, as well as  the bracts (leaves) as dye for textiles and cosmetics.  Cuetlaxochitl signifies “Flower that withers, mortal flower that perishes like all that is pure (” The Cuetlaxochitl was cultivated as a gift from the gods and Montezuma (1480-1520, last of the Aztec Kings) adorned his palaces with the plant. It blood red color was a reminder of the sacrifice the gods had made to create the universe and the debt which would be repaid with human sacrifice.


A popular folk legend tells that Pepita a poor young Mexican girl was heartbroken when she did not have money to buy baby Jesus a present. An angel appeared and told her to gather bundles of weeds growing along the road side. When her tears fell on the weeds they miraculously turned into glorious red blooms, a five point star that we call the Poinsettia today.

A more familiar legend tells of the Franciscan friars celebrating Christmas with a Poinsettia decorated nativity scene. During the mass, as the Star of Bethlehem passed overhead, the leaves were said to turn from green to bright red. The Poinsettia, formally a symbol of Aztec sacrifice was adopted as a symbol of the blood of Christ and quickly associated itself with the Christmas season.

Present Day

In July 2002, the House of Representatives created Poinsettia Day in honor of Paul Ecke Jr. who discovered and developed a technique in which seedlings branch. His discovery has allowed the Poinsettia industry to flourish. Poinsettias contribute millions each year to the U.S. economy and are the best selling potted plant at the wholesale level in the U.S. and Canada.

In celebration and honor of World Poinsettia Day Country Lane Flower Shop is offering a 20% discount (cash and carry) for one day only on all Poinsettias purchased on December 12th, 2015.

Country Lane Flower Shop, located in Howell, Michigan, is committed to offering only the finest  floral arrangements. Our professional designers are eager to create a one-of-a-kind look that compliments your personality and style. Country Lane Flower Shop has been named the “Best Florist” in Livingston County for 14 consecutive years.


Happy Poinsettia Day!  . (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2015, from