This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Passing by these old friends, not without a word of hearty welcome be it well understood, we come to another plant which has been of late years an almost indispensable adjunct of Christmas decorations, be they of church or hall - the brilliant Poinsettia pulcherrima, the bright scarlet bracts of which give the head of blossoms a flower-like appearance, and serve admirably to lighten up the somewhat sombre masses of evergreen. Not only in England is this beautiful plant regarded as a Christmas flower; in the North of Mexico, where it finds a place in almost every garden, it is called Noehe-buma from its blossoming about the time of the Christmas festival, for which noche buena, "the good night," is the Spanish name. In the South of Spain it is a very popular flower, and there too, it is connected with a Church festival, being known as Flor de pasqua or Easter-flower. Its name commemorates a French traveler, M". Poinsette, by whom the plant was introduced to cultivation. He brought specimens to Charleston from Mexico in 1828, whence they were taken to Philadelphia; and specimens sent from the latter place to Edinburgh flowered in 1835, since which date it has become increasingly popular and plentiful in our stores.
There is a variety with white bracts, and a so-called "double-flowered " variety has just made its appearance amongst us, and which will, we believe, shortly be illustrated in these columns. With us in England the plants of the Poinsettia attain comparatively but small size; but in India, on the Neil-gherry Hills, where it is grown in gardens, it attains the size of a large bush.- Gardener's Chron-cle.