If I was to mention tulips most people would associate them with Holland. While they do grow there now they originated in Turkey many years prior to being introduced to Holland. Over time they made their way to Holland and they do thrive in the Dutch climate and most people think of them as a Dutch flower.
Poinsettias are widely associated with Americans as a flowering Christmas plant. Most people do not realize is that they are actually tropical plants. Poinsettias originated in Mexico and Central America. Now being a florist and having taken horticulture classes from a young age I did know that they were a tropical plant. Once I learned that I thought it was odd that it was a popular Christmas time plant but that is the way it always was. However, I was not prepared to see a 15’ poinsettia when my husband, Matthew, and I were on our honeymoon in the Azores. The Azores are a chain of breath-takingly beautiful Portuguese islands about 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal. They were truly one of the most amazing places that I have ever seen in my life! We visited multiple gardens there and they were all spectacular but I’ll get back to the poinsettias. They were huge! Unbelievably beautiful and large. It felt like being Alice in the movie Alice in Wonderland when she was small and amongst all the large plants. People don’t always stop to think about where a plant or flower may have originated or where it may flourish. While the poinsettia did not originate in the Azores the climate is very similar.
Next time you see a plant or flower you really like and want to learn more about start with it’s origin. The origin tells you so much about a plant. Not to mention seeing a picture of a plant in it’s natural environment is amazing. Even if it is an environment that it has been brought to such as the poinsettia being brought to the Azores it is clearly an environment that the plant thrives in.