Poinsettias are practically a staple of the Christmas season, but have you ever wondered why they pop up everywhere as the holidays approach?
The connection between poinsettias and Christmas is more intertwined than you might think. In this article, I’ll delve into the rich symbolism behind poinsettias and which occasions they’re perfect for.
The Symbolism of Poinsettias
The traditional meanings attributed to poinsettias are “blessings,” “wishing for good luck,” “my heart is aflame,” and “holy night.” These meanings originated in 17th-century Mexico.
The red color evokes thoughts of Christ’s blood, while white is reminiscent of the Virgin Mary’s purity. Green, on the other hand, is said to represent eternal life and love.
These colors have been closely associated with Christmas because missionaries started decorating churches with them.
Symbolism by Color of Poinsettias
Poinsettias come in different shades, including red, white, and pink, and each color has its own symbolism. Let’s dive into what each one means:
The symbolism for red poinsettias includes “blessings,” “wishing for good luck,” “holy night,” and “my heart is aflame.”
Red is a color that often evokes feelings of passion and excitement, making these meanings particularly fitting for red poinsettias.
The meanings for white poinsettias are “beloved person” and “wishing for good luck.” The color white is often linked to the purity of the Virgin Mary and is also a popular wedding color, which probably inspired these symbolic meanings.
For pink poinsettias, the meanings are “compassion” and “purity.” Although the specific origins are not mentioned, the color likely represents feelings of caring and thoughtfulness towards others.
Additionally, there’s a variety of pink poinsettias called “Princettia” that was developed by Suntory Flowers Ltd. in 2009.
Are There Scary Meanings Behind Poinsettia Symbolism?
While there’s no inherently “scary” symbolism attached to poinsettias, it’s worth noting that the Aztecs traditionally used them in ceremonies offering sacrifices to the gods.
Additionally, the deep red color evokes images of Christ’s blood, which might be unsettling for some. However, these days poinsettias are a beloved staple of the Christmas season.
If you find yourself drawn to poinsettias and want to give them to someone, it’s sure to make a thoughtful present when given with love.
What Kind of Flower is a Poinsettia?
Poinsettias are plants of the Euphorbiaceae family, native to Mexico. They’re also called “Shojojuboku” in other contexts. These plants begin to appear in stores a little ahead of the Christmas season, around November, and usually vanish by March.
They have a long bloom time of around 7 to 10 days. So, if you snag one in early December, you’ll have a gorgeous flower to enjoy come Christmas.
Fun fact: what you might think are the red petals aren’t actually flowers but bracts—the real flower is the yellow part in the center. And these bracts have no scent, so don’t expect any fragrance from the red or pink parts.
Poinsettias Make Great Birthday Gifts Too!
Poinsettias aren’t just for Christmas; they’re also a fantastic choice for birthday presents. If the birthday falls on December 22nd or 25th, it would be fitting to choose a poinsettia as it’s the birth flower for these dates.
When picking one out, pay attention to the price and size. Opting for an overly cheap plant might come off as disrespectful.
In terms of size, you don’t want to overwhelm the recipient with a plant that’s too large. Sticking with roughly 14 to 21 inches is manageable and will easily find a home in any space.
Gift the Symbolism of Poinsettias
Poinsettias may be a Christmas staple, but they’re also a perfect birthday gift for those born in December.