I’m Running on a Tight Schedule

Because I’m running on a tight schedule today, I’ll have to write this holiday flower-oriented post with lightning speed. There could be minor mistakes and you’ll just have to live with them.

First, we need to talk about the meaning of the usual Christmas holiday flowers. One of them is the Amaryllis, about which I’ve already given the important details in a previous post.

The other flower is the poinsettia, properly pronounced “flower.” Sena brought one home yesterday and it’s a beauty. The lore surrounding this holiday favorite is a bit convoluted. An angel ordered a peasant woman named Maria to gather roadside weeds. Maria was a little hard of hearing and thought the angel said “weed,” so she dug up a lot of marijuana growing wild in the ditches.

She took them to a little church, where the members of the congregation and the preacher lit them up with a little fire at the altar. The smoke got a little thick and everybody got a little confused and really hungry. They giggled a lot and their eyes burned a little, making everything look like it had a reddish color, including the “weeds.” Somebody knocked over the altar, spilling them all over the floor, which everybody swore they could feel through their shoes.

The poinsettia was known by the Aztecs who originally called it “Cuetlaxochitl,” which means “flower you can feel through your shoes, dude!”

There’s another version of the origin of the name of poinsettia. Some botanist in South Carolina named Poinsett (get that, har!) called it the “Mexican flame thrower,” probably because there was a legend in Mexico that extraterrestrials brought a plant with them that shot fire from its flowers, scorching all of the weed for miles.

Anyway, I think that’s how the history goes.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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