While we're all impatiently waiting for Spring, we're stuck in a transitional period - so I thought I'd post these pictures of the poinsettia plant from my parents house. With spring taking its time, we may as well remember the joys of Christmas!
Location: Messingham, North Lincolnshire
Resources: Microscopy UK, Wikipedia
Notes: Sadly by the time I'd took these photos, the flowers were almost over.
Poinsettia plants are native to Mexico. The red leaves are often confused as flowers, which is understandable as the flowers are very small while the do have a scent, it is not very strong.
The creation of the Christmas market for poinsettia is very interesting and is covered by Wikipedia.
The colouration of the upper leaves, in these photos the red colour, is created through a process called photoperiodism and the poinsettias require 12 hours of darkness for 5 consecutive days with bright light during the daytime to create the bright colours we enjoy.
Head over to Microscopy UK for some truly wonderful photographs and microscopic images of the pointsettia.