Friday, December 3, 2010

Meet The Poinsettias of 2010

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are Powell Gardens' premier Christmas and Holiday Season plant grown in our greenhouse complex. This fickle plant native to Central America and tropical Mexico is actually a shrub that can grow to 10 feet. Poinsettias bloom only on the short days of the winter solstice; it is actually the leafy bracts surrounding the tiny flowers that create the show!

The Greenhouse Gals: (left to right) Penny Hudson (part-time gardener), Kellyn Register (gardener), Donna Covell (Horticulturist) and Yubi (the greenhouse mouser) pose for a picture with our vibrant crop of poinsettias. Meet the various varieties of poinsettias they (along with Senior Gardener Eric Perrette) have grown for the 2010 season:

Poinsettia 'Freedom Early Red' may be our most showy red poinsettia with huge bracts literally covering the entire plant.

Poinsettia 'Novia Red' has vibrant red bracts that contrast beautifully with its green leaves. This is more of a classic poinsettia to me -- not as gaudy as Freedom Early Red above.

The vermilion bracts of Poinsettia 'Orange Spice' have a orange-red color more similar to the wild poinsettia.

Poinsettia 'Enduring Marble' has a smattering of pink on its otherwise large, red bracts.

Poinsettia 'Sonora White Glitter' has a splattering of white on its bracts, some bracts containing larger white and pink sections.

Poinsettia 'Tapestry' has yellow variegated leaves that really set off this plant from the others.

If pink is your color then Poinsettia 'Freedom Pink' displays the largest lovely pink bracts of any we've grown.

Poinsettia 'Polly's Pink' displays exceptionally vibrant pink bracts.

Poinsettia 'Winter Blush' has marvelous pink and cream variegated bracts. It also displays two tiers of flowers -- huge ones above smaller below.

Poinsettia 'Winter Rose Early Marble' has the crinkled tight bracts so popular in the winter rose series but with an nice blend of cream and pink.

White Poinsettias offer a classic color favored by many indoor designers and gardeners. The giant creamy white bracts (I sense salmon and lime overtones) identify this as Poinsettia 'Freedom White.'

Poinsettia 'White Star' has more starry bracts of a similar but perhaps whiter color.

Creamier, peachy-white bracts make Poinsettia 'Classic White' another favorite of white poinsettias.

Lastly, Poinsettia 'Ice Punch' still receives the most comments of the poinsettias we've grown this season. The variegated bracts are quite striking but in a good way.
All these poinsettias are on display in the Visitor Center's conservatory and some are for sale in Perennial Gifts too. Come visit them in person and pick your favorite variety.

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