Christmas is here, so that means one plant above all others is top of mind – the Poinsettia.
With its traditional red and green foliage, it makes the perfect centrepiece on Christmas day.
Originating from Mexico, this plant is also available in light pink and creamy white. What we see as the flowers of the Poinsettia are actually bracts or clusters of coloured leaves — the real flowers are insignificant, tiny white to yellow blooms that are massed together in the centre of each of these clusters. Preferring to flower naturally through winter, here in Australia the Poinsettia is artificially coaxed into its striking floral displays in time for Christmas. The colours of the bracts are created through photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness (12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row) to change colour. At the same time, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest colour.
Popular for their decorative qualities and as gifts, Poinsettias are always the perfect plant at Christmas!