Garden Alphabet: Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

A little early in the season, perhaps, but this poinsettia photo comes from a collection of photos I took in 2002. I often return to my archives to find good examples of flowers and plants I haven’t highlighted before here in Garden Alphabet. We actually have one poinsettia from a few years ago that has survived and thrived over the years and should be on track for a turn towards the red (the leaves are usually green) just in time for the Christmas holidays.

Garden Alphabet: Poinsettia

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The poinsettia (/pɔɪnˈsɛtiə/ or /pɔɪnˈsɛtə/)[1][2] (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a culturally and commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family that is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett,[3] the first United States Minister to Mexico,[4] who introduced the plant into the United States in 1825.

Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6–4 metres (2 ft 0 in–13 ft 1 in). The plant bears dark green dentate leaves that measure 7–16 centimetres (2.8–6.3 in) in length. The colored bracts—which are most often flaming red but can be orange, pale green, cream, pink, white, or marbled—are often mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors, but are actually leaves. The colors of the bracts are created through photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness (12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row) to change color. At the same time, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest color.[5]

The flowers of the poinsettia are unassuming and do not attract pollinators. They are grouped within small yellow structures found in the center of each leaf bunch, and are called cyathia.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico.[6] It is found in the wild in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southernSinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. It is also found in the interior in the hot, seasonally dry forests of GuerreroOaxaca, and Chiapas.[7] Reports of E. pulcherrima growing in the wild in Nicaragua and Costa Rica have yet to be confirmed by botanists.[8]

There are over 100 cultivated varieties of poinsettia.[9][10] – Wikipedia

More information on Poinsettia:

 
Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Noted: Only an iPhone Was Used to Create This Archive of Backyard Wildlife via Gizmodo

Only an iPhone Was Used to Create This Archive of Backyard Wildlife via Gizmodo

Only an iPhone Was Used to Create This Archive of Backyard Wildlife via Gizmodo

This is indeed a different kind of wildlife photography. Instead of going to exotic corners of the globe, Joshua White combs the foliage of his own backyard in making hundreds of finely-detailed images.

White takes a scientific approach to collecting specimens and photographing them for his Photographic Survey of the American Backyard. The collection of over 400 images was made with an iPhone and a piece of white foam board.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

Find more Noted/Shared Gardening items

Noted: Why Pathways Are Such A Compelling Element In The Garden via Gardening Gone Wild

Why Pathways Are Such A Compelling Element In The Garden via Gardening Gone Wild

Why Pathways Are Such A Compelling Element In The Garden via Gardening Gone Wild

When I began to learn about garden design, I became intrigued with paths – no – make that obsessed. Maybe it dates back to my childhood memories of The Wizard of Oz. Who doesn’t remember when Dorothy reaches a crossroads on her journey to the Wizard and is confused about which way to go ~ and how the talking tree chimes in with his opinion?

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

Find more Noted/Shared Gardening items

Noted: Great Design Plant: Arctostaphylos Glauca Nourishes and Delights via Houzz

Great Design Plant: Arctostaphylos Glauca Nourishes and Delights via Houzz

Landscape by San Francisco Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Pete Veilleux, East Bay Wilds

As with many manzanitas, big berry (Arctostaphylos glauca) has an architectural structure with dark red seasonally peeling bark and sinuous branches that add a sculptural sensibility to a rugged or natural garden. 

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

Find more Noted/Shared Gardening items

Interesting Plant: Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

Such pretty blue flowers. I could see these spread throughout a meadow or cottage garden. I don’t have a lot of blue flowers in my garden, as I tend more towards purples, but these would be a nice addition. It would also be great if I could get them to naturalize and seed. I love the ease of growing perennials in the garden. They require so much less care and return the initial effort of planting year after year.

Interesting Plant: Blue Flax (Linum lewisii) 

 Linum lewisii (Linum perenne var. lewisii) (Lewis flaxblue flax or prairie flax) is a perennial plant in the family Linaceae, native to western North America from Alaska south to Baja California, and from the Pacific Coast east to the Mississippi River. It grows on ridges and dry slopes, from sea level in the north up to 3000 m altitude in the south of the species’ range.

It is a slender herbaceous plant growing to 90 cm tall, with spirally arranged narrow lanceolate leaves 1–2 cm long. The flowers are pale blue or lavender to white, 1.5–3 cm diameter, with five petals. – Wikipedia.org


A 2-3 foot perennial with delicate leaves and true blue sky flowers from Mar. to Sept.. Native to middle to high elevations, Alaska to southern California. A good garden flower. Showy, every morning it covers itself with 1″ blue flowers, hundreds per day. The leaves themselves stay at 18″ or so but the flowers arise above making a total arching display 3′ or so high. Use in perennial garden, rock garden, or even in a container. In areas where the snow is on the ground until March to June this plant will flower all summer. I’ve seen it in the snow fields and in dry rocky sunny sites at 6000-8000′. In San Diego it is at about 3000 ft on a rocky south facing slope mixed with Diplacus Clevlandii and Brodiaea. It has done well within sight of the ocean and ok in the desert as long as it gets watering. This is another plant that doesn’t behave as you would think. It survived up in our garden with no water for two seasons in full sun, flowering its little heart out each morning from late March until mid-July. The reason it did not get water is the drought (11″ one year and 5″ the next) did not allow us to use any. In the garden it does need to be trimmed down each winter. – Las Pilitas Nursery

More information on Blue Flax (Linum lewisii):
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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

High-tech/High-touch…from A Gardener’s Notebook

High-tech/High-touch…from A Gardener's Notebook

My life has always been filled with such anachronistic examples. I actively seek out ways to integrate both “high tech” and “high touch” parts of my life. This is one of many reasons I am drawn to gardening. After hours of facing the computer screen nothing brings you back to reality like a few minutes in the garden. The next time you see someone who has had their head stuck inside their computer too long, take them out to your garden and recharge their batteries.

From A Gardener’s Notebook by Douglas E. Welch DouglasEWelch.com

Buy or Download a sample of From A Gardener’s Notebook via Amazon.com

Find more gardening books and items in the WelchWrite Bookstore from Amazon.com

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Previously from A Gardener’s Notebook:

Video: In the garden…September 5, 2014: Basil back in the garden and containers

Agn artwork

Our basil cuttings are ready to add to one of my retrofitted raised beds and also into one of the containers, as a backup.

Video: In the garden...September 5, 2014: Basil back in the garden and containers

Check out my collection of gardening essays, “From A Gardener’s Notebook” now available as a Kindle eBook. (You don’t need a Kindle to read it, though. Read it on your PC, Link: http://j.mp/fagnbook

Watch all past episodes of “In the garden…” in this YouTube Playlist


Music: “The One by the Woodshedders and “Hustle” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License

Please Like this video and/or subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

Your likes and subscriptions directly reflect how many other viewers are suggested this video.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel


“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted/Shared Gardening items

“In the garden…” is a series for A Gardener’s Notebook highlighting what is happening in my garden, my friend’s gardens and California gardens throughout the seasons. 

Event: Maintenance Manuals for Residential Native Plant Gardens with California Native Plant Society – Tue, Sept, 9. 2014

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

The Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society  is pleased to present the following public program at

7:30  pm, Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sepulveda Garden Center

16633 Magnolia Boulevard, Encino, CA

(just west of the intersection of Hayvenhurst and Magnolia)

Program: Maintenance Manuals for Residential Native Plant Gardens

Presenter:

Ellen Mackey is a Senior Ecologist who edited the Los Angeles River Landscaping Guidelines and Plant Palettes (2004), co-authored the Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens (2006), co-authored the Old Marengo Park Maintenance Manual, and the Elmer Avenue Maintenance Manuals. She leads the Native Seed Resources Coalition, creating a reliable supply of locally native plants for local landscaping projects. Her front yard native plant landscaping is certified by the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Habitat Program.

Description:

After the dust clears from removing your lawn and replacing it with native plants, you need a long-term care plan to keep your garden healthy and happy for years into the future. Ellen Mackey will review the process and resources needed to create manuals tailor-made for your garden. Before all the notes and maps on irrigation, storm water provisions, lists of useful information on native plants and common weeds invading the garden are lost, assemble a maintenance manual and include a month-by-month care schedule. Your garden will grow in beauty!

Books for sale on California plants!
Free refreshments!
Free handouts!

Visit the LASMMNPS Web Site for more information!

Event: Veggiepalooza at Fullerton Arboretum – September 13 & 14, 2014

Fullerton arboretum logo

Veggiepalooza Fall

 

Fullerton Arboretum to Host Fall Veggiepalooza Seedling Sale

September 13thand 14th, 2014

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Members Only Presale September 13th 8:30 – 10:00 AM

Fall Veggies

The potting Shed will offer over 150 varieties of vegetable plants, herbs and seeds for the fall and winter garden.

Learn how to grow fall and winter vegetables at one of our gardening seminars.

Gardening experts will be available to help choose the best varieties for your garden.

For complete information, visit the Fullerton Arbotetum web site.

Video: In the garden…September 3, 2014: Sweet Potato Starts for Everyone!

 Agn artwork

Anyone need any sweet potato starts? I have more than I know what to do with. Perhaps give some to the neighbors.

Video: In the garden...September 3, 2014: Sweet Potato Starts for Everyone!

Check out my collection of gardening essays, “From A Gardener’s Notebook” now available as a Kindle eBook. (You don’t need a Kindle to read it, though. Read it on your PC, Link: http://j.mp/fagnbook

Watch all past episodes of “In the garden…” in this YouTube Playlist


Music: “Hustle” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License

Please Like this video and/or subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

Your likes and subscriptions directly reflect how many other viewers are suggested this video.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

 

“In the garden…” is a series for A Gardener’s Notebook highlighting what is happening in my garden, my friend’s gardens and California gardens throughout the seasons.