Poinsettia takes the limelight on National Poinsettia Day

8 million poinsettias will be sold in the UK this year, and between 105 and 110 million poinsettias will be sold in Europe this year, of which 32 million will be sold in Germany.

Plenty of reason for Stars for Europe, the marketing initiative of European poinsettia breeders Dümmen Orange, Selecta One, Beekenkamp and Syngenta, supported by MNP Flowers, to support the UK Poinsettia campaign.

In the US, National Poinsettia Day honors Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsett -- a botanist, physician, and the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico -- spotted the brilliant red blooms on a trip south of the border in 1825. Enamored with their beauty, he shipped some back to his hothouse in Greenville, South Carolina. It was there that he began propagating and sending the plants to friends and botanical gardens.  Bartram’s Garden received one of his plants and introduced it into commercial cultivation. Read more about the day's backstory here.

New Jersey in the spotlight
New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher celebrated this special day by visiting Lucas Greenhouses in Gloucester County.

New Jersey ranked 10th in the U.S. in wholesale poinsettia plants sold in the most recent data available from the United States Department of Agriculture. The last agricultural census reported 51 producers sold 1.3 million plants with a total value of $6.9 million. Nursery is the largest commodity group in New Jersey agriculture with an annual value of more than $350 million.

“Poinsettias are a colorful reminder that the holiday season is here and provide a wonderful addition to any holiday setting,” Secretary Fisher said. “Our growers take great measures to produce a wide variety of poinsettias that can be tailored to fit the needs of individual homeowners, businesses and institutions. When you purchase poinsettias from a local nursery it helps the state economy and supports local farm families.”

Lucas Greenhouses is a family owned and operated horticultural grower, producing more than 30 different varieties of poinsettias among its 1.7 million square feet of indoor growing space. The operation offers several sizes of poinsettias ranging from 4.5-inch pots all the way up to 14-inch pots in a variety of colors including traditional reds, whites, and pinks, along with many novelty colors like red glitter. Lucas Greenhouses has been growing ornamental holiday crops, like poinsettias, since 1979 in southern New Jersey.

“Poinsettias add such beauty to holiday décor with their solid canopy and bold colors,” said George Lucas, co-founder and co-owner of Lucas Greenhouses with his wife, Louise. “Our greenhouse provides a wide range of color in many different sizes to meet every expectation of the customer. Our team takes great pride in growing the best crop possible, no matter the season, and we take special care to meet the holiday demands each year.”

Today’s poinsettia plant has a storied history in New Jersey. The ‘Oak Leaf’ poinsettia was introduced by Mrs. Enteman in Jersey City in the 1920s and dominated the field for the next 40 years as it was the first cultivar suitable for growing in a pot.

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