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Holiday hues. Poinsettia Day
During the holiday season, poinsettias brighten up homes in suitably festive coloring, serving as symbols of goodwill. December 12 marks National Poinsettia Day, a special occasion to celebrate this holiday favorite. The plant was introduced to the US by Joel Roberts Poinsett, a botanist and former minister to Mexico who died on this day in 1851. Poinsettias can be found growing in the wild from Mexico to Guatemala. The ancestors of the modern, commercially available version have been traced to the Mexican state of Guerrero. The crimson-leaved plant was used by the Aztecs as a red dye and as a fever-reducing medicine.