Poinsettia Tree Cross Stitch Kit
The Poinsettia Tree cross stitch kit is one of our range of cross stitch Christmas cards
Poinsettia – Euphorbia pulcherrima
The poinsettia is a shrub native to Mexico, it can grow from 0.6 – 2 metres tall, like all Euphorbias it exudes a milky liquid from it’s cut stems, this is toxic and can in some cases cause irritation if it comes into contact with the skin.
That aside the poinsettia has become a traditional plant at Christmas time, it has bright red coloured bracts although some varieties can be pink, cream, orange, pale green or marbled, the bracts are often mistaken for flower petals but the flower of the poinsettia is insignificant and found in the middle of the bracts (leaves)
The coloured bracts of poinsettias are created through photoperiodism, this means that they need 12 hours of darkness for around 5 days to enable them to produce the coloured bracts, this is why it is so difficult to get them to come back into colour once they have lost their leaves – it’s easier to purchase another plant for the next year
The shape of the bracts and flowers is sometimes thought to resemble the Star of Bethlehem, the star which lead the three wise men to the baby Jesus. The red coloured bracts represent the blood of Christ, while the white varieties symbolise his purity.
A Mexican legend tells of a poor girl called Pepita or Maria who had no gift to offer the baby Jesus at the Christmas celebrations, so she gathered a small bunch of weeds and placed them at the Nativity scene where they miraculously burst into bright red poinsettias. Since then, in Mexico the poinsettia has been known as’ Flores de Noche Buena’, or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night’.