||Poinsettia Item 1843|
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The Poinsettia is named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in 1828.
The top leaves are flaming red, pink, or white and are often mistaken as flowers. The actual flowers are grouped within the small yellow structures found in the center of each leaf bunch.
The plant's association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve services.
As she walked to church filled with sadness. Her papa told her "I am sure that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes."
The girl knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. As she approached the altar, her spirit lifted as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.
Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red and all who saw them were certain they had witnessed a Christmas miracle.