Jun 04, · A Central America native, the plant flourished in areas of Southern Mexico long before Christianity came to the Western Hemisphere. The ancient Aztecs found it blooming in the tropical highlands during the very short days of winter and named it “Cuetlaxochitl.”. Great Moments in Poinsettia History Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They are found in the wild in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. They are also found in the interior of Mexico in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Gurerro and Oxaca.
The poinsettia has a long history of cultivation starting with the Aztecs in Mexico. The poinsettia is called cuetlaxochitl by Native Americans and this woody shrub to small tree is native to the tropical areas of southern Mexico and Central America. The Aztecs made a reddish dye from the bracts and a medicinal preparation from the latex. A nurseryman from Pennsylvania, John Bartram is credited as being the first person to sell poinsettias under its botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima In the early 's the Ecke family of southern California grew poinsettias outdoors for use as landscape plants and as a cut flower.
However, it wasn’t until the 17 th century that Cuetlaxochitl, now an established decorative plant in Mexican tradition, began its journey into Christmas traditions. This part of the journey began in the small town of Taxco de Alarcon, Mexico where Franciscan monks began using . Mexico is the country where the poinsettia originally was grown. The flowering plant in question (Euphorbia pulcherrima) occupies a definite bio-geography which includes Guatemala and Mexico and.
Dec 10, · The plant is named for the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced America to the poinsettia in , after discovering it in the wilderness in southern Mexico. Jan 06, · Poinsettias get their American name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who brought them to the states from Mexico in the .