The Baroque garden was a style of garden based upon symmetry and the principle of imposing order on nature. The style originated in the late-16th century in Italy, in the gardens of the Vatican and the Villa Borghese gardens in Rome and in the gardens of the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, spread to France, where it became known as the Jardin a la Français or French formal garden; the grandest example is found in the Gardens of Versailles designed during the 17th century by the landscape architect André Le Nôtre for Louis XIV. In the 18th century, in imitation of Versailles ornate baroque gardens were built in other parts of Europe, including Germany, Spain, in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. In the mid-18th century the style was replaced by the more less-geometric and more natural English landscape garden. Baroque gardens were intended to illustrate the mastery of man over nature, they were designed to be seen from above and from a little distance from the salons or terraces of a chateau. They were laid out like rooms in a house, in geometric patterns, divided by gravel alleys or lanes, with the meeting points of the lanes marked by fountains or statues.
Flower beds were designed with bands of shrubbery and flowers forming the designs. Larger bushes and trees were sculpted into conical or dome-like shapes, trees were grouped in bosquets, or orderly clusters. Water was present in the form of long rectangular ponds, aligned with the terraces of the house, or circular ponds with fountains; the gardens included one more small pavilions where visitors could take shelter from the sun or rain. Over time, the style evolved, became more natural. Grottoes and "secret gardens" enclosed by trees appeared, to illustrate the literary ideals of Arcadia and other popular stories of the time; the ideas that inspired the baroque garden, like those of baroque architecture, first appeared in Italy in the late Renaissance. In the late 15th century, the architect and writer Leon Battista Alberti, proposed that the house and garden both were both sanctuaries from the confusion of the outside world and that they both should be designed with architectural forms, geometric rooms, corridors.
In a popular allegorical story, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, one of the first printed novels, the Dominican priest and author Francesco Colonna described a garden composed of carefully-designed ornamental flowerbeds and rows of trees shaped in geometric forms. The Cortile del Belvedere or courtyard of the Belevedere at the Vatican in Rome was one of the first gardens in Europe which adopted these geometric principles, was a model for many Baroque gardens, it was begun in 1506, constructed for Pope Julius II, in connected his residence on a nearby hillside with the Vatican. The garden was three hundred meters long, filled with orderly flower beds and gardens geometrically divided by alleys and hedges, with fountains at the intersections of the paths, it was finished in 1565 by Pirro Ligorio. The original garden was drastically modified by the addition of the Vatican Library; the same architect who completed the Cortile del Belvedere, Pirro Ligorio, was commissioned in the same year to design an more ambitious garden, Villa d'Este, for the Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este.
This garden was designed on a steep hillside. The garden was composed of five terraces, elaborately planted in geometric forms and connected with ramps and stairways. Like many baroque gardens, it was best viewed from above and from a distance, to get the full effect; this architectural form for gardens continued to dominate in Italy until the construction of Villa Borghese gardens in Rome by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1605. In this large garden, the regular and geometric alleys and groves of aligned trees were joined by other parts of the garden in asymmetrical forms, by a number of "secret gardens", small sanctuaries of trees and flowers planted with flowers and fruit trees, surrounded by rows of oak trees and cypress trees, populated with birds and animals; this garden marked the beginning of the transition to the more natural landscape garden, based on the romantic vision of an imaginary Arcadia. All of these gardens underwent extensive redesign in the 18th century, turning them into more natural-looking landscape gardens.
Except in a few preserved paths and flower beds, it is difficult now to imagine them in their original state. At the end of the 15th century, Charles V of France invited Italian architects and garden designers to France to create an Italian garden for his Chateau of Amboise. In the 16th century, the development of the baroque garden in France was accelerated by Henry IV of France and his Florentine wife, Marie de Médicis, their first major project in the style was the garden of the Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. The new garden, on the bluff above the Seine, featured an extensive Belvedere with ramps and stairways, scattered with an assortment of pavilions and theaters. Following the death of the King, his widow built a palace and a garden of her own, now called the Luxembourg Palace, she planted groves of full-grown trees and laid out parterres and fountains on the model of the gardens of her native Florence. The French Baroque garden reached its summit under Louis XIV, due to his garden designer, André Le Nôtre.
Le Nôtre's first large-scale project was for Vaux-le-Vicomte, the chateau of the King's Minister of Finance, Nicolas Fouquet, built between 1656 and 1661. The central feature of this garden was a main axis descending fr
A community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. Community gardens utilize either individual or shared plots on private or public land while producing fruit, and/or plants grown for their attractive appearance. According to Marin Master Gardeners, "a community garden is any piece of land gardened by a group of people, utilizing either individual or shared plots on private or public land". Community gardens provide fresh products and plants as well as contributing to a sense of community and connection to the environment and an opportunity for satisfying labor and neighborhood improvement, they are publicly functioning in terms of ownership and management, as well as owned in trust by local governments or not for profit associations. Community gardens vary throughout the world. In North America, community gardens range from familiar "victory garden" areas where people grow small plots of vegetables, to large "greening" projects to preserve natural areas, to tiny street beautification planters on urban street corners.
Some grow only flowers, others are nurtured communally and their bounty shared. There are non-profits in many major cities that offer assistance to low-income families, children groups, community organizations by helping them develop and grow their own gardens. In the UK and the rest of Europe related "allotment gardens" can have dozens of plots, each measuring hundreds of square meters and rented by the same family for generations. In the developing world held land for small gardens is a familiar part of the landscape in urban areas, where they may function as market gardens, they practice crop rotations with versatile plants such as peanuts and much more. Community gardens are used in urban neighborhoods to alleviate the food desert effect. Food accessibility described in urban areas refers to residents who have limited access to fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables. Food deserts serve lower-income neighborhoods in which residents are forced to rely on unhealthy food options such as expensive processed foods from convenience stores, gas stations, fast-food restaurants.
Community gardens provide accessibility for fresh food to be in closer proximity located in local neighborhoods. Community gardens can help expand the realm for ensuring residents’ access to healthy and affordable food in a community. Community gardens may help alleviate one effect of climate change, expected to cause a global decline in agricultural output, making fresh produce unaffordable. Community gardens are an popular method of changing the built environment in order to promote health and wellness in the face of urbanization; the built environment has a wide range of positive and negative effects on the people who work and play in a given area, including a person's chance of developing obesity Community gardens encourage an urban community's food security, allowing citizens to grow their own food or for others to donate what they have grown. Advocates say locally grown food decreases a community's reliance on fossil fuels for transport of food from large agricultural areas and reduces a society's overall use of fossil fuels to drive in agricultural machinery.
A 2012 op-ed by community garden advocate Les Kishler examines how community gardening can reinforce the so-called "positive" ideas and activities of the Occupy movement. Community gardens improve users’ health through increased fresh vegetable consumption and providing a venue for exercise. A fundamental part of good health is a diet rich in fresh fruits and other plant based foods. Community gardens provide access to such foods for the communities. Community gardens are important in communities with large concentrations of low socioeconomic populations, as a lack fresh fruit and vegetable availability plagues these communities at disproportionate rates; the gardens combat two forms of alienation that plague modern urban life, by bringing urban gardeners closer in touch with the source of their food, by breaking down isolation by creating a social community. Community gardens provide other social benefits, such as the sharing of food production knowledge with the wider community and safer living spaces.
Active communities experience vandalism. Land for a community garden can be publicly or held. One strong tradition in North American community gardening in urban areas is cleaning up abandoned vacant lots and turning them into productive gardens. Alternatively, community gardens can be seen as a health or recreational amenity and included in public parks, similar to ball fields or playgrounds. Community gardens have served to provide food during wartime or periods of economic depression. Access to land and security of land tenure remains a major challenge for community gardeners and their supporters throughout the world, since in most cases the gardeners themselves do not own or control the land directly; some gardens are grown collectively, with everyone working together. Many community gardens have both "common areas" with shared individual/family plots. Though communal areas are successful in some cases, in others there is a tragedy of the commons, which results in uneven workload on participants, sometimes demoralization and abandonment of the communal model.
Some relate this to the unsuccessful history of collective farming. Unlike public parks, whether community gardens are open to the general public is dependent upon the lease agreements with the management body of the park and the community garden memb
Butterfly gardening is designed to create an environment that attracts butterflies, as well as certain moths. Butterfly gardening is aimed at inviting those butterflies and moths to lay eggs as well; because some plants are not fed upon by adult butterflies, the caterpillar host should be planted for a bigger population of butterflies. Butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers, there are hundreds of such plants that may be planted to attract them, depending on the location, time of year, other factors. In addition to the planting of flowers that feed butterflies, other means of attracting them include constructing "butterfly houses", providing sand for puddling and other resources or food items, including rotten fruit; some people only like to look at the butterflies. Others try to help the butterfly population by planting native plants which rare or threatened butterflies feed on. Done butterfly gardening can increase the populations of butterflies. Many butterflies are becoming less abundant as a result of habitat destruction and fragmentation, they do not feed on the plants found in gardens.
Others may help in tagging monarch butterflies, which helps scientists monitor the monarch population and their migratory routes. Butterflies serve as flower pollinators and attracting the butterflies can assist in the pollination of nearby plants. Flowers of plants that attract butterflies attract other insect pollinators. Butterfly gardening can serve as an educational opportunity for children and can be a safe way to introduce them to the natural world. Butterflies have many predators, including mantids, spiders, ants, true bugs, flies in the family Tachinidae. If these predators are becoming a problem, they can be controlled with traps rather than pesticides, which may kill butterflies and their larvae. There are diseases that afflict butterflies, such as bacteria in the genus Pseudomonas, the nuclear polyhedrosis virus, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, which only infects queen butterflies and monarch butterflies. In the absence of pesticides and true bugs may infest plants; some gardeners may wish to release ladybugs and other biological pest control agents that do not harm butterflies in order to control aphids.
However, the release of ladybugs is not a good idea in places such as the United States where the species, released is the invasive Chinese ladybug. An alternative to this is to wait for local predatory insects to find the aphids. One technique some use to quicken this process if the infestation is high is to spray the bushes with a mix of sugar and water, simulating aphid honeydew; this is known to attract lacewings. Another method of control is by spraying the plants with water, or rinsing plants with a mild dish detergent/water solution. Scented detergents are fine; the aphids will turn black within a day, fall off. One last technique is to plant a variety of different flowers, including ones that attract hoverflies and parasitic Braconid wasps, whose larvae kill pest species. Still, it is not advisable to kill all aphids, just to control them so that they are not detrimental to plants. Aphids still play a role in the environment by providing food for predators. There are some caterpillars such as the harvester which only eat certain aphid species instead of plants.
With small home butterfly gardens, it is common for the larvae to exhaust the food source before metamorphosis occurs. Gardeners of monarch butterflies can replace the expended milkweed with a slice of pumpkin or cucumber, which can serve as a substitute source of food for monarch caterpillars in their final instar. Planting multiple plants in clumps can help lower the chances of running out of leaves. Efforts to increase butterfly populations by establishing butterfly gardens require particular attention to the target species' food preferences and population cycles, as well to the conditions needed to propagate their food plants. For example, in the Washington, D. C. area and elsewhere in the northeastern United States, monarch butterflies prefer to reproduce on common milkweed when its foliage is soft and fresh. As monarch reproduction in that area peaks in late summer when most Asclepias syriaca leaves are old and tough, the plant needs to be cut back in June – August to assure that it will be regrowing when monarch reproduction reaches its peak.
In addition, Asclepias syriaca seed needs a period of cold treatment known as stratification before it will germinate. Research should be conducted as to what species are prevalent in your area, what plants they prefer to nectar on. Depending on your zone, some butterfly attracting plants include: purple cone flowers, yellow cone flowers, marigolds, cosmos, some lilies, coreopsis, verbenas, liastris, the butterfly bush, pentas and others. Avoid cultivars of plants that have "double flowers" as these can be difficult for butterflies to access. Care should be taken to research a species, to make sure it is not invasive in your region. In addition to expanding the number of species seen in your yard, provide host plants that feed the caterpillars; this is just as important as planting flower beds with nectar-rich blooms. Butterfly house Category: Lists of Lepidoptera by f
The term cultivar most refers to an assemblage of plants selected for desirable characters that are maintained during propagation. More cultivar refers to the most basic classification category of cultivated plants in the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. Most cultivars arose in cultivation. Popular ornamental garden plants like roses, daffodils and azaleas are cultivars produced by careful breeding and selection for floral colour and form; the world's agricultural food crops are exclusively cultivars that have been selected for characters such as improved yield and resistance to disease, few wild plants are now used as food sources. Trees used in forestry are special selections grown for their enhanced quality and yield of timber. Cultivars form a major part of Liberty Hyde Bailey's broader group, the cultigen, defined as a plant whose origin or selection is due to intentional human activity. A cultivar is not the same as a botanical variety, a taxonomic rank below subspecies, there are differences in the rules for creating and using the names of botanical varieties and cultivars.
In recent times, the naming of cultivars has been complicated by the use of statutory patents for plants and recognition of plant breeders' rights. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants offers legal protection of plant cultivars to persons or organisations that introduce new cultivars to commerce. UPOV requires that a cultivar be "distinct, uniform", "stable". To be "distinct", it must have characters that distinguish it from any other known cultivar. To be "uniform" and "stable", the cultivar must retain these characters in repeated propagation; the naming of cultivars is an important aspect of cultivated plant taxonomy, the correct naming of a cultivar is prescribed by the Rules and Recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. A cultivar is given a cultivar name, which consists of the scientific Latin botanical name followed by a cultivar epithet; the cultivar epithet is in a vernacular language. For example, the full cultivar name of the King Edward potato is Solanum tuberosum'King Edward'.'King Edward' is the cultivar epithet, according to the Rules of the Cultivated Plant Code, is bounded by single quotation marks.
The word cultivar originated from the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with characteristics that arose in cultivation, presently denominated cultigens. This distinction dates to the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, the "Father of Botany", keenly aware of this difference. Botanical historian Alan Morton noted that Theophrastus in his Historia Plantarum "had an inkling of the limits of culturally induced changes and of the importance of genetic constitution"; the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants uses as its starting point for modern botanical nomenclature the Latin names in Linnaeus' Species Plantarum and Genera Plantarum. In Species Plantarum, Linnaeus enumerated all plants known to him, either directly or from his extensive reading, he recognised the rank of varietas and he indicated these varieties with letters of the Greek alphabet, such as α, β, λ, before the varietal name, rather than using the abbreviation "var." as is the present convention. Most of the varieties that Linnaeus enumerated were of "garden" origin rather than being wild plants.
In time the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with variations, cultivated increased. In the nineteenth century many "garden-derived" plants were given horticultural names, sometimes in Latin and sometimes in a vernacular language. From circa the 1900s, cultivated plants in Europe were recognised in the Scandinavian and Slavic literature as stamm or sorte, but these words could not be used internationally because, by international agreement, any new denominations had to be in Latin. In the twentieth century an improved international nomenclature was proposed for cultivated plants. Liberty Hyde Bailey of Cornell University in New York, United States created the word cultivar in 1923 when he wrote that: The cultigen is a species, or its equivalent, that has appeared under domestication – the plant is cultigenous. I now propose another name, for a botanical variety, or for a race subordinate to species, that has originated under cultivation, it is the equivalent of the botanical variety except in respect to its origin.
In that essay, Bailey used only the rank of species for the cultigen, but it was obvious to him that many domesticated plants were more like botanical varieties than species, that realization appears to have motivated the suggestion of the new category of cultivar. Bailey created the word cultivar, assumed to be a portmanteau of cultivated and variety. Bailey never explicitly stated the etymology of cultivar, it has been suggested that it is instead a contraction of cultigen and variety, which seems correct; the neologism cultivar was promoted as "euphonious" and "free from ambiguity". The first Cultivated Plant Code of 1953 subsequently commended its use, by 1960 it had achieved common international acceptance; the words cultigen and cultivar may be confused with
A greenhouse is a structure with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings. A miniature greenhouse is known as a cold frame; the interior of a greenhouse exposed to sunlight becomes warmer than the external ambient temperature, protecting its contents in cold weather. Many commercial glass greenhouses or hothouses are high tech production facilities for vegetables or flowers; the glass greenhouses are filled with equipment including screening installations, cooling and may be controlled by a computer to optimize conditions for plant growth. Different techniques are used to evaluate optimality-degrees and comfort ratio of greenhouse micro-climate in order to reduce production risk prior to cultivation of a specific crop; the idea of growing plants in environmentally controlled areas has existed since Roman times. The Roman emperor Tiberius ate a cucumber-like vegetable daily.
The Roman gardeners used artificial methods of growing to have it available for his table every day of the year. Cucumbers were planted in wheeled carts which were put in the sun daily taken inside to keep them warm at night; the cucumbers were stored under frames or in cucumber houses glazed with either oiled cloth known as specularia or with sheets of selenite, according to the description by Pliny the Elder. The first description of a heated greenhouse is from the Sanga Yorok, a treatise on husbandry compiled by a royal physician of the Joseon dynasty of Korea during the 1450s, in its chapter on cultivating vegetables during winter; the treatise contains detailed instructions on constructing a greenhouse, capable of cultivating vegetables, forcing flowers, ripening fruit within an artificially heated environment, by utilizing ondol, the traditional Korean underfloor heating system, to maintain heat and humidity. The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty confirm that greenhouse-like structures incorporating ondol were constructed to provide heat for mandarin orange trees during the winter of 1438.
The concept of greenhouses appeared in the Netherlands and England in the 17th century, along with the plants. Some of these early attempts required enormous amounts of work to winterize. There were serious problems with providing balanced heat in these early greenhouses; the first'stove' greenhouse in the UK was completed at Chelsea Physic Garden by 1681. Today, the Netherlands has many of the largest greenhouses in the world, some of them so vast that they are able to produce millions of vegetables every year; the French botanist Charles Lucien Bonaparte is credited with building the first practical modern greenhouse in Leiden, during the 1800s to grow medicinal tropical plants. Only on the estates of the rich, the growth of the science of botany caused greenhouses to spread to the universities; the French called their first greenhouses orangeries, since they were used to protect orange trees from freezing. As pineapples became popular, pineries, or pineapple pits, were built. Experimentation with the design of greenhouses continued during the 17th century in Europe, as technology produced better glass and construction techniques improved.
The greenhouse at the Palace of Versailles was an example of their size and elaborateness. The golden era of the greenhouse was in England during the Victorian era, where the largest glasshouses yet conceived were constructed, as the wealthy upper class and aspiring botanists competed to build the most elaborate buildings. A good example of this trend is the pioneering Kew Gardens. Joseph Paxton, who had experimented with glass and iron in the creation of large greenhouses as the head gardener at Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, working for the Duke of Devonshire and built The Crystal Palace in London. Other large greenhouses built in the 19th century included the New York Crystal Palace, Munich’s Glaspalast and the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken for King Leopold II of Belgium. In Japan, the first greenhouse was built in 1880 by Samuel Cocking, a British merchant who exported herbs. In the 20th century, the geodesic dome was added to the many types of greenhouses. Notable examples are the Eden Project, in Cornwall, The Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.
Greenhouse structures adapted in the 1960s when wider sheets of polyethylene film became available. Hoop houses were made by several companies and were frequently made by the growers themselves. Constructed of aluminum extrusions, special galvanized steel tubing, or just lengths of steel or PVC water pipe, construction costs were reduced; this resulted in many more greenhouses being constructed on garden centers. Polyethylene film durability increased when more effective UV-inhibitors were developed and added in the 1970s. Gutter-connected greenhouses became more prevalent in the 1990s; these greenhouses have
Pelargonium is a genus of flowering plants which includes about 200 species of perennials and shrubs known as geraniums, pelargoniums, or storksbills. Confusingly, Geranium is the botanical name of a separate genus of related plants. Both genera belong to the family Geraniaceae. Linnaeus included all the species in one genus and they were separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789. Pelargonium species are evergreen perennials indigenous to temperate and tropical regions of the world, with many species in southern Africa, they can tolerate only minor frosts. Some species are popular garden plants, grown as houseplants and bedding plants in temperate regions, they have a long flowering period, with flowers in purple and orange, or white. The name Pelargonium is derived from the Greek πελαργός, pelargós, because the seed head looks like a stork's beak. Dillenius suggested the name'stork', because Geranium was named after a crane — "a πελαργός, sicuti vocamus Gerania, γερανός, grus". Despite the Latin, this should not be confused with the modern-day genus Ciconia, of birds in the stork family.
Pelargonium occurs in a large number of growth forms, including herbaceous annuals, subshrubs, stem succulents and geophytes. The erect stems bear five-petaled flowers in umbel-like clusters, which are branched; because not all flowers appear but open from the centre outwards, this is a form of inflorescence is referred to as pseudoumbels. The flower has a single symmetry plane, which distinguishes it from the Geranium flower, which has radial symmetry, thus the lower three petals. The posterior sepal is fused with the pedicel to form a hypanthium; the nectary tube varies from only a few millimeters, up to several centimeters, is an important floral characteristic in morphological classification. Stamens vary from 2 to 7, their number, position relative to staminodes, curvature are used to identify individual species. There are five stigmata in the style. For the considerable diversity in flower morphology, see figure 1 of Röschenbleck et al. Leaves are alternate, palmately lobed or pinnate on long stalks, sometimes with light or dark patterns.
The leaves of Pelargonium peltatum, have a thick cuticle better adapting them for drought tolerance. Pelargonium is the second largest genus within the Geraniaceae family, within which it is sister to the remaining genera of the family in its strict sense, Erodium and Monsonia including Sarcocaulon; the Geraniaceae have a number of genetic features unique amongst angiosperms, including rearranged plastid genomes differing in gene content and expansion of the inverted repeat. The name Pelargonium was first proposed by Dillenius in 1732, who described and illustrated seven species of geraniums from South Africa that are now classified as Pelargonium. Dillenius, who referred to these seven species with apparent unique characteristics as Geranium Africanum suggested "Possent ergo ii, quibus novi generis cupido est, ea, quorum flores inaequales vel et irrregulares sunt, Pelargonia vocare"; the name was formally introduced by Johannes Burman in 1738. However Carl Linnaeus who first formally described these plants in 1753 did not recognise Pelargonium and grouped together in the same genus the three similar genera Erodium and Pelargonium.
Linnaeus' reputation prevented further differentiation for forty years. The eventual distinction between them was made by Charles L’Héritier based on the number of stamens or anthers, seven in the case of Pelargonium. In 1774, P. cordatum, P. crispum, P. quercifolium and P. radula were introduced, followed by P. capitatum in 1790. Pelargonium is distinguished from the other genera in the family Geraniaceae by the presence of a hypanthium, which consists of an adnate nectar spur with one nectary, as well as a zygomorphic floral symmetry. De Candolle first proposed dividing the genus into 12 sections in 1824, based on the diversity of growth forms. Traditionally the large number of Pelargonium species have been treated as sixteen sections, based on the classification of Knuth who described 15 sections, as modified by van der Walt et al. who added Chorisma and Subsucculentia. These are as follows. J. A. van der Walt All subdivision classifications had depended on morphological differences till the era of phylogenetic analyses.
However phylogenetic analysis shows only three distinct clades, labelled A, B and C. In this analysis not all sections were monophyletic although some were supported including Chorisma and Jenkinsonia, while other sections were more paraphyletic; this in turn has led to a proposal
The poinsettia is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family. The species is indigenous to Mexico, it is well known for its red and green foliage and is used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825. Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree reaching a height of 0.6–4 metres. The plant bears; the colored bracts—which are most flaming red but can be orange, pale green, pink, white, or marbled—are mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors, but are leaves. The colors of the bracts are created through photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness to change color. At the same time, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest color; the flowers of the poinsettia do not attract pollinators. They are grouped within small yellow structures found in the center of each leaf bunch, are called cyathia.
The poinsettia is native to Mexico. It is found in the wild in deciduous tropical forests at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala, it is found in the interior in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Guerrero and Chiapas. Reports of E. pulcherrima growing in the wild in Nicaragua and Costa Rica have yet to be confirmed by botanists. The Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as an antipyretic medication. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the plant is called Cuetlaxochitl, meaning "flower that grows in residues or soil" Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as Flor de Nochebuena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. In Spain it is known as Pascua, meaning Easter flower. In Chile and Peru, the plant became known as Crown of the Andes; the plant's association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl called Pepita or Maria, too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar.
Crimson blossoms became poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations; the star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus. Poinsettias are popular Christmas decorations in homes, churches and elsewhere across North America, they are available in large numbers from grocery and hardware stores. In the United States, December 12 is National Poinsettia Day. Albert Ecke emigrated from Germany to Los Angeles in 1900, opening a dairy and orchard in the Eagle Rock area, he sold them from street stands. His son, Paul Ecke, developed the grafting technique, but it was the third generation of Eckes, Paul Ecke Jr., responsible for advancing the association between the plant and Christmas. Besides changing the market from mature plants shipped by rail to cuttings sent by air, he sent free plants to television stations for them to display on air from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
He appeared on television programs like The Tonight Show and Bob Hope's Christmas specials to promote the plants. Until the 1990s, the Ecke family, who had moved their operation to Encinitas, California, in 1923, had a virtual monopoly on poinsettias owing to a technique that made their plants much more attractive, they produced more compact plant by grafting two varieties of poinsettia together. A poinsettia left to grow on its own will take an open, somewhat weedy look; the Eckes' technique made resulting in a bushier plant. In the late 1980s, university researcher John Dole discovered the method known only to the Eckes and published it, allowing competitors to flourish those using low-cost labor in Latin America; the Ecke family's business, now led by Paul Ecke III, decided to stop producing plants in the U. S. but as of 2008, they still serve about 70 percent of the domestic market and 50 percent of the worldwide market. The poinsettia has been cultivated in Egypt since the 1860s, when it was brought from Mexico during the Egyptian campaign.
It is called bent el consul, "the consul's daughter", referring to the U. S. ambassador Joel Poinsett. There are over 100 cultivated varieties of poinsettia. In areas outside its natural environment, it is grown as an indoor plant where it prefers good morning sun shade in the hotter part of the day. Contrary to popular belief, flowering poinsettias can be kept outside during winter, as long as they are kept frost-free, it is grown and popular in subtropical climates such as Australia and Malta. The plant requires a daily period of uninterrupted long, dark nights followed by bright sunny days for around two months in autumn in order to encourage it to develop colored bracts. Any incidental light during these nights hampers bract production. Commercial production of poinsettia has been done by placing them inside a greenhouse and covering the latter to imitate the natural biological situation. To produce extra axillary buds that are necessary for plants containing multiple flowers, a phytoplasma infection—whose symptoms include the proliferation of axillary buds—i