Did you know? The holidays are steeped in legends around plants. Here are the legends around two of our favorites: The Poinsettia and The Christmas Tree.
1. The Poinsettia
The poinsettia is one of the most purchased potted flowers in America.
Legend has it that the Aztecs would use pigment from the bracts (leaves/petals of the plant) as dye and the sap as a fever reducer. The poinsettia was first introduced to the U.S. By Joel Poinsett, a botanist and American ambassador to Mexico.
To learn more about the legend and history of the poinsettia, watch the below video featuring Monty Holmes, horticulturist for the Smithsonian Gardens.
2. The Christmas Tree or Evergreen Fir Tree
The Christmas Tree or evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years.
Early Christmas trees were hung upside down from chandeliers.
The first use of a tree at Christmas is argued between Tallin, Estonia in 1441 and Riga, Latvia in 1510. In both cases, the tree was put up by the Brotherhood of Blackheads, an association of unmarried merchants and ship owners.