What Does Poinsettia Flower Mean and Symbolise?

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Chime in the Christmas cheer and bring out the Holiday feasts, it is almost that very merry and special time of the year! And what other way to better decorate the Holiday season than with some beautiful Hollies and can you guess? The very gorgeous Poinsettias! 

These velvet-like beauties come with more surprise than the gifts you see under the Christmas tree! So, better watch out and not forget to add these to your home during the Holidays!

History of Poinsettia Flowers

Although the discovery of Poinsettias does not date as far back as when Christmas was first celebrated, it makes up with very rich and luscious history. The first discovery was debuted by the ancient Aztecs in the 15th century. They referred to these floral as cuitlaxochitl meaning the star flower. 

In modern-day botany, the Poinsettias were first defined in 1836 as floral clusters surrounded by showy and colorful bracts. These flowers were named after Joel Poinsett – an American diplomat who discovered the flowers in 1828. 

The Poinsettias belong to the Euphorbia or Spurge genus of the Euphorbiaceae family. It is well known as a Holiday plant because of the special magic in its bracts – it changes color during Wintertime! And don’t be fooled – the flowers are actually the small buds in the very center of the plant called the cyathia

Scientifically, the Poinsettia is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima meaning the most beautiful. It is native to Mexico and Central America with a few very interesting meanings and symbolism. To narrow it down, these flowers originated from the quaint little town of Taxco de Alarcón in Mexico. Natives call this special flower the Christmas Star Flower.

Symbolism of Poinsettia Blossoms

Since the beginning of time for the Poinsettias, these have always symbolized the Christmas Holidays and their joyous festivities. It’s no wonder where the Holiday color motif comes from – the red bracts, green leaves, and yellow cyathia of the Poinsettia! 

For the Hindus in Nepa and India, the Christmas Star Flower is a symbol of the female life force – resembling her beauty. 

Meanwhile, early Europeans regarded such blossoms as the special red garb of Father Christmas. 

The ancient Aztecs also held a special symbol behind the Poinsettias. For their people, it was symbolic of a new life earned by brave warriors who died during the battle. 

The Christmas Star Flower is the purity before the Christmas season!

Meaning of Poinsettia Flowers

The meaning behind the Christmas Star Flower truly has jolly and cheerful meanings behind them. For instance, the language of flowers regards these as florals of good and merry cheer! 

Some even believe these flowers mean purity – a mortal flower that perishes and withers just like all things that are pure. 

What does a White Poinsettia Flower Mean?

White Christmas Star Flowers send the meaning of forgiveness and embodies a sense of purity, just like the Holy Family in the manger. 

What does a Red Poinsettia Blossom Symbolize?

Red Poinsettias are symbolic of the merriment and festivities during the Holiday season. It is also best not to forget that this blossom symbolizes sacrifice.

What does a Pink Poinsettia Floret Indicate?

Christmas Star Flowers with pink petals indicate the splendor of the Christmas season and of course – the birth of Jesus Christ. Additionally, such flowers also indicate feminine beauty.

What does a Yellow Poinsettia Bloom Represent?

During the Holiday season, it is always a reminder to give thanks for all the bounty and blessings received. It just so happens that yellow Poinsettias present just that – gratitude. And what comes after being thankful? Being happy of course! 

What is the Cultural Significance of a Poinsettia Flower?

The Christmas season is the most beautiful time of the year – no doubt about that! In Mexico, a special feast is traditionally celebrated every 12th of December and Poinsettias are the star of the show! 

Poinsettia Day or also known as the Day of the Lady of Guadalupe – is honored yearly as the flower of Christmas Eve. The feast was first celebrated after the American ambassador to Mexico Joel Poinsett discovered the plant.

Not surprisingly, there is also a Poinsettia Day celebrated in the United States on the 12th of December! Unlike the festivities in Mexico, this was celebrated in honor of Paul Ecke Jr. – the man who first discovered how to mass-produce the plants through seeds. 

What is the Biblical Meaning of a Poinsettia Blossom?

Since it is the Christmas Star Flower, there is no doubt about its meaning in the Holy Bible. The Poinsettias – specifically the ones with red bracts, symbolizes the Virgin Mother Mary and her beauty. Additionally, it is also symbolic of the blood of Christ when He was crucified and died on the Holy Cross. 

The most common association of this blossom is with the birth of Jesus Christ in the Nativity. It is a reminder of everlasting life and a savior as in God’s promise. The Poinsettias are also then known as the flower of the Holy Night that shined during the first Christmas. 

What is the Folktale Associated with a Poinsettia Floret?

In the quaint town of Taxco de Alarcón in Mexico, there is a story that goes on about how the Christmas Star Flower acquired its fame during the Holidays and its decorations in the Nativity!

According to the Mexican folktale, there were once two children who were siblings – a girl and boy, who were poor and had nothing to offer to the Church Nativity during Christmas Eve. Seeing the beauty of the Poinsettias, the siblings placed a green flower on the Nativity. 

To everyone’s surprise on Christmas morning, the once green Poinsettias suddenly changed colors – turning into a deep red floral offering symbolizing thanks. Truly a story that up to this day is a custom during Christmas! Just spectacular! 

What does a Poinsettia Floral Tattoo Symbolize?

Just like some flowers, a Poinsettia floral tattoo is a rare design to choose from amongst the many florals of the world. Embodying this floral tattoo symbolizes good cheer not only during the Christmas season but also all year round. Additional to this, it also symbolizes the glee and gratitude inside the mind and heart. 

Uses of Poinsettias

You do not only see Poinsettias decorated in the scenes of the Nativity. In fact, it wasn’t until the 16th century that these flowers were first used during Christmas. Some also prefer these florals as potted plants they can use to decorate their homes all year round because of their beautiful bracts! 

Aside from its horticultural use, it also has are folkloric and traditional uses. For example, the ancient Aztecs used the milky white suds from the flower as medicine for fever. They also extracted the bract pigment to use as a dye for make-up and clothing. 

Meanwhile, the Nepali women of Mexico traditionally made a tea infusion from the sepals to stimulate women who were breastfeeding. They also used the latex from the plant as a remedy for skin boils and sores. A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.  

~ image source: depositphotos/AntonioGravante