poinsettiaThe poinsettia is a beautiful red flower that is given most around the holidays, especially Christmas. The poinsettia has a long history, but one of the most interesting points of history is how the poinsettia made its way to America finding its first home in Greenville, South Carolina.

The poinsettia originated in Southern Mexico and the people of Mexico had many uses for it, but the poinsettia wasn’t used as an ornamental flower until an American admired the beauty of the bright red leaves on a trip to the region.

President Madison appointed Joel Roberts Poinsett the first American Ambassador to Mexico in 1825 and during a trip to the Taxco area in 1828 he found magnificently red flowers that he had sent back to his Greenville home immediately.

Mr. Poinsett loved botany, he had his own hot houses in Greenville and although he was the son of a French doctor, and he himself had attended medical school, he loved gardening most.

Mr. Poinsett began sending the red flowers to friends and colleagues, one of which is thought to have been a nursery owner in Pennsylvania that may have been the first to sell the plant under its botanical name “Euphorbia Pulcherrima” (Translation: The most beautiful euphoria).

Mr. Poinsett’s accomplishments also include serving as the U.S. Secretary of War, he also served as a Master Freemason to Solomon’s Lodge #1 in Charleston South Carolina, he introduced Freemasonry to Mexico, and he founded the most famous institution in America, the Smithsonian.

The Poinsettia is the number one flower purchased around Christmas time in America, it’s symbolic to the season of giving, and what would Christmas be like without the Poinsettia!

By: Lisa Gonzalez