The tradition of the poinsettia as a Christmas flower goes back to the 17th century when Franciscan friars in Mexico used the brilliant flower, in bloom at Christmas, in nativity processions. Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico and also a botanist, brought a specimen of the wild weed to the United States in 1825 and the plant was named after him. The plant was cultivated into the beauty we enjoy today.
Listen to the children’s story, The Legend of the Poinsettia, retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paola.
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