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The Legend of the Christmas Poinsettia

Wednesday, December 15, 2021   /   by Sonya Reiselt

The Legend of the Christmas Poinsettia

poinsettia sonya reiselt.jpg
Poinsettias have long been associated with Christmas, but how did that become a tradition? The plant itself was named for the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced it to America in 1828 after discovering it in Southern Mexico.  

But what does the Poinsettia have to do with Christmas? There are a couple of interpretations. The first is of a legend of a poor Mexican girl, Pepita, who could only offer a small bouquet of weeds to Jesus as a gift on Christmas Eve.  When she brought the weeds into the church, they blossomed into beautiful red plants we know as Poinsettas- also known as Flores de Noche Buena in Mexico (Spanish for “flowers of the holy night”).   The other interpretation is that the plant is a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem because of the shape of its leaves- the heavenly body that led the 3 wise men to the manger where Jesus was born. The bright red leaves symbolize the blood of Christ, and the white leaves represent his purity.

The Poinsetta’s in all their beauty are a gorgeous addition to all Christmas décor’ and area symbol of the faith and hope for today and what the future will bring.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas season. 


  living in the lowcountry, holiday traditions

The Homesfinder Realty Group 208 Carteret St Beaufort, SC 29902
Sonya Reiselt
208 Carteret Street
Beaufort, SC 29902
843-321-2158


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