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Public Domain Picture: k7244-2

Courtesy: US Department of Agriculture
Views: 1,570 | Downloads: 29
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The poinsettia is the most popular Christmas plant and it is the number-one flowering potted plant in the U.S., even though its’ traditional sales period is just 6 weeks. In 1976, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) began research to improve the flower's dependability. USDA ARS discovered the exact conditions of light and temperature the plant requires and devised precision growing methods that enabled massive cultivation. The poinsettia, a contemporary symbol of Christmas, was introduced to the U.S. from Mexico and named after Joel Robert Poinsett in 1825. The Aztec Indians prized poinsettias and considered them a symbol of purity because of their brilliant red color. They made a reddish-purple dye from the colored 'flowers', which are actually modified leaves called bracts. They also made a medicine against fevers from the latex sap of the plant. USDA photo by Scott Bauer.
Date Added:
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Produced by United States Government
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US Department of Agriculture

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US Department of Agriculture (Flickr Photostream)
External Site: US Department of Agriculture
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