From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Euphorbia Euphoria

(Photo by Andre Karwath)
Ever wonder why poinsettias are so popular this time of year?  The plant formally known as Euphorbia pulcherrima has long been a seasonal favorite.

Native to Mexico, E. pulcherrima’s association with Christmas began in the 16th century.  Legend tells us that a young girl “was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar.”

Lo and behold!  These weeds miraculously turned into glorious poinsettias.  Mexican Franciscans
therefore began including them in Christmas celebrations. 

Poinsettias’s leaf pattern resembles the Star of Bethlehem, and its crimson hue reminds devotees of Jesus’ blood sacrifice.  Its popularity has now spread across North America, as well as to places such as Egypt and Australia.

Although beautiful, poinsettias can be physically toxic to humans.  Their sap and latex can harm sensitive skin, eyes and stomachs.


Copyright December 17, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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