Poinsettia is regarded as an important Christmas flower . There are various legends and stories related to the flower , poinsettia. Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They were named after America's first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants to America in 1828. The Mexicans in the eighteenth century thought the plants were symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem . Therefore, the Poinsettia became associated with the Christmas season. The actual flower of the poinsettia is small and yellow. But surrounding the flower are large, bright red leaves, often mistaken for petals. Poinsettias are much-loved Christmas flowers in the United States with its stunning red star-shape. It is called the 'Flower of the Holy Night' or the 'Flame Leaf' in Central America. The botanical name, Euphorbia Pulcherrima, was assigned to the poinsettia by the German botanist, Wilenow. Dazzled by its color, he gave it this name meaning 'very beautiful.'

The legends associated with the flowers come from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church, and the days before Christmas were filled with parades and parties. The two children loved the festival but were always disappointed because they had no money to buy gifts. They especially wished that they could present something to the church for the Baby Jesus. But they had nothing. One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church to attend the service. Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, they decorated them into a small bouquet and deciding to take them as their Christmas gift to the new born Christ in the manger scene.

Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. Of course other children teased them when they arrived with their gift, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could. Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals, and soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers , all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes. From that day onwards poinsettias are associated with the festival of Christmas and are known of the most beautiful and significant Christmas flowers .

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