Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tis the Season for Poinsettias Blooming Outside

Maui's idea of a "White Christmas" - white poinsettia blossoms

Actually, poinsettia "blossoms" are not really blossoms - they are leaves that change color, especially in December approaching the Winter Solstice. The only gardening tip I heard regarding poinsettias is that they don't like to change color if they receive too much light at night. 

Maui is abundant with blooming poinsettias at this time of year. Many unassuming front yards burst into bloom.

Another variety of poinsettia, with small "flowers."
A closer look at the "blossoms"
This is a variety of poinsettia that I know from childhood. It's not the nursery variety sold in stores, and makes a huge bush outside. 

The flower is actually very tiny and in the center of what we think of as the "flower." 

Poinsettias are members of the Euphorbiacae family. The milky sap from a broken stem is poisonous. Look, but don't touch.

 Here's a more traditionally colored poinsettia. It may have started as a small nursery plant but is pretty darn happy growing outside on Maui - just like many other bugs, critters, and plants that love Maui!
Traditional red poinsettia.
Another poinsettia (towards the end of its bloom season in late December) with Spanish moss growing underneath. 


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