Other than the classic Christmas tree (and our specially imported Noble Firs from USA), there are a few other Christmas plants and flowers associated with the season.
One of them is the Poinsettia:
Did you know that it’s actually a tropical plant? The poinsettia is native to southern Mexico, where it can grow up to 10 feet tall. The colored ‘flowers’ are actually leaves, which are called brachts – the true flowers are in fact the small and inconspicuous beads found in the middle of the brachts.
Other than red, poinsettias come in other shades like pink, white and yellow. In fact, there are more than 100 varieties – streaked, marbled, solids and multicolored, you will be spoilt for choice! But the red ones are the ones traditionally associated with the season.
(We also offer a variety of Christmas wreaths – come down to Punggol & Bloom to check them out!)
Another traditional plant is the Christmas cactus:
Also known as the Schlumbergera, it’s been a popular holiday plant since the 1800’s.
Unlike other cacti that grow in the desert, the Christmas cactus actually grows in tropical rain forests. This means that they thrive under bright indirect sunlight and warm conditions.
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly”
This prickly green plant and red berries is the ubiquitous Christmas Holly, so often seen during this season. Long considered a sacred plant even before its association with Christmas, it’s primarily found in North America, Europe and Asia. But beware: the berries are inedible, and toxic when ingested by humans. Many species of Holly are evergreen, though some can be deciduous as well. They do well in bright or indirect sunlight.
According to legend, a young shepherdess named Madelon was tending her sheep one cold and wintry night.
As she watched over them, a group of wise men and other shepherds passed by,
bearing gifts for the newly born Jesus.
Madelon wept, because she had no gifts to bring the Newborn King, not even a simple flower….
An angel, upon hearing her weeping, appeared and brushed away the snow to
reveal a most beautiful white flower tipped with pink – the Christmas Rose.
Also known as the Hellebore, the Christmas Roses are evergreen perennials that can grow between 12 to 15 inches tall and have shiny, dark green leathery leaves. Each stalk bears a single 2 to 4 inch white bloom that is sometimes pink-tinged. Found in southern Europe and Asia, they are deciduous and require partial shade.
And last but not least, the mistletoe.
Just like the holly which is poisonous to humans, you can kiss under them but not eat their white berries. With more than 1300 species worldwide, they actually grow as parasites on the branches of trees and shrubs. Ripe seeds burst and scatter, and when they land on a tree, they feed on it for nutrients and water. They stay green all year and its extracts have even been known to combat colon cancer!