Flower of the Day – Poinsettia

I just love the pop of colour my Poinsettias are adding to my garden right now.

Although Poinsettia is a Christmas classic, blooming (naturally) from late October onwards in the northern hemisphere, here in Australia, they also instinctively bloom in late autumn and early winter, but that’s late May to early June in this great land down under.

Most often red, they can also be found in orange, pale green, cream, pink, white, even marbled or speckled and oh, yes, even purple. (I will have to get me one of those.)  There are approx. 100 different varieties with new ones being introduced all the time.  I have four varieties in my garden.

My stunning double red.

Yep – stunning

I also have a single red.

This one is just beginning to bloom.

A pink that is not as bright pink as it once was.

This variety is known as Princettia.

And I also have a yellow variety.

This one grows in full sun.

I could almost say I have five different colours because this is a cutting from the yellow variety that is potted and placed in an area where it receives less sunlight.  It looks more white than yellow to me.

This one is potted and does not receive full sun.

Did you notice the flowers in the centre?  Yes, believe it or not, the main attraction of the Poinsettia is its leaves, not its flowers.  Those coloured bracts are generated through photoperiodism – a natural, physiological reaction to the length of day or night.  Poinsettias require at least 12 hours of darkness for at least five days in a row to change colour.

Some nurseries alter day length in specially designed glasshouses so that we see these plants ‘in flower’ at other times of the year.  That’s all it takes.

Personally, I look forward to this time of year when Mother Nature is doing all the hard work.

o o

Amid all the greenery, all this red is stunning.

Wow!

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

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