Sunday, December 18, 2011
Poinsettias and the season
Poinsettias (however you pronounce it) have been a symbol of the holiday season for many decades. I love them! The brightly colored part of the plant, however, is not the "flower", it's the leaves (or technically the bracts).
In nature, the Poinsettia is a shrub or small tree that grows in Central America - mainly Mexico. The 3 - 6 inch leaves can be red, pale green, cream, pink, light orange or white. Contrary to urban legend, the leaves are only very mildly toxic; to the same degree that acorns are toxic. They only cause harm if someone eats hundreds of them (who would?).
In its native Mexico it is often called "Bent El Consul" or "the Consul's daughter", referring to the former U.S. ambassador Joel Poinsett.
An incredible record has been set by a small, unusual-looking bird - a Godwit - the Bar-tailed species. Scientists recorded a migration flight of 7,257 miles between Alaska and New Zealand - diagonally across the entire Pacific Ocean. It was done without resting along the way, across nothing but water, non-stop.
Posted by Owen Yost at 12/18/2011 10:19:00 AM