Friday, December 22, 2006

The Poinsettia

How did the poinsettia come to be associated with Christmas? Read this week's interesting entry on Ask Yahoo!.

Aren't poinsettias poisonous to humans? Snopes says Nope! (As for pets, it does not say, but from what facts are given, it seems unlikely.)

And lastly, there's this:

"Not only is poinsettia the most popular Christmas plant, it is the number-one flowering potted plant in the United States, even though its traditional sales period is just 6 weeks. That was not the case back in 1976, when ARS [the USDA's Agricultural Research Service] first began its program to improve the flower's dependability. This meant discovering the exact conditions of light and temperature the plant requires. They also performed breeding experiments that defined how color develops, and they devised precision growing methods that enabled massive cultivation. Last year, the wholesale value of the poinsettia crop reached nearly $170 million--a jump of more than 400 percent from 1976." (from Wikipedia)

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