Mexico Christmas star, Poinsettia

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YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS PRESENTATION HERE: http://ma-planete.com/pps/websiteview/catid_17/id_442327/title_Mexico-Christmas-star-Poinsettia/ SLIDESHARE LINK: http://www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda/poinsettia-10913340 Poinsettias are native to Mexico, where the Aztecs used them in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries both for medicinal purposes and for making dye. Thank you!

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México Poinsettia

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Euphorbia pulcherrima (t he name pulcherrima means "most beautiful“), or noche buena , is a species of flower indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It is commonly known as poinsettia after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the US in 1825.

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Poinsettias are native to Mexico, where the Aztecs used them in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries both for medicinal purposes and for making dye.

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Chile and Peru called the poinsettia the "Crown of the Andes.”

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The Aztecs called the poinsettia Cuetlaxochitl. They made a reddish purple dye from the bracts.

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The Christmas connection to poinsettias comes from a Mexican legend which tells of a poor girl who dreams of bringing a beautiful gift to favor the Virgin Mary for a Christmas Eve service, yet has nothing worthy.  On the way to Church, she meets an angel who tells her to pick some weeds.

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She kneels by the roadside and, despite her protests that they are far from desirable, gathers a handful of common weeds and makes her way to a small chapel where she places her offering on the altar.

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The moment she does, they burst into blooms of brilliant red poinsettias and her sorrow turns to joy.  The Mexicans renamed it Flor de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve Flower).

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In Spain it is known as "Flor de Pascua“, “Pascuero”. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus

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In nature, poinsettias are perennial flowering shrubs that can grow to ten feet tall (3.1m). The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think are the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves).

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The ancients knew this plant as Cuetlaxochitl , which means "the flower of leather petals".  The ancients considered all flowers to be divine gifts of the Gods, not only because of their wonderful beauty, scent and color, but they were also believed to be metaphors of the most beautiful feelings.  This star-shaped, red, winter-flowering plant was a special favorite long before the arrival of Columbus.

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A fresh poinsettia is one on which little or no yellow pollen is showing on the flower clusters in the center of the bracts. Plants that have shed their pollen will soon drop their colorful bracts.

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Poinsettias represent over 85 percent of the potted plant sales during the holiday season. Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.

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curly poinsettia

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There are over 100 varieties of poinsettias available.

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Poinsettia is also called the Atatürk flower in Turkey.

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Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plant

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In the United States, December 12 is National Poinsettia Day. It was declared in honor of the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, whom the plant is named after.

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Poinsettia Day, December 12 in US, is the day of Virgin of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), an official national holiday in Mexico, observed with pilgrimages, processions, special masses, fiestas, and Indian dances in front of some churches. In a sense, the Virgin of Guadalupe represents the essence of Mexico, the fusion of two cultures, Catholic Spain and indigenous Mexico.

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Poinsettias are 'short day plants', meaning they flower when there are less than 12 hours daylight, to ensure the minimum of competitors of pollinating insects. The colored red leaves surround the base of the tiny flower heads and are designed to attract insects that might otherwise overlook the flowers.

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Euphorbia pulcherrima, or noche buena, is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6 to 4 m. The colors come from photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness for 12 hours at a time for at least 5 days in a row to change color. At the same time, the plants need a lot of light during the day for the brightest color.

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Poinsettia blanca

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The poinsettia has also been cultivated in Egypt since the 1860s. It was brought from Mexico during the Egyptian campaign. It is called "Bent El Consul", "the consul's daughter", referring to the U.S. ambassador Joel Poinsett.

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Poinsettia, Christmas star, Christmas flower, lobster plant, Mexican flame leaf, painted leaf, Euphorbia pulcherrima

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S ound: Lila Downs - La Malagueña; Perume De Gardenias México Text & Pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Arangement : Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda Alphonse Mucha

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