Red all over: December 12 is National Poinsettia Day.
What are red and green and everywhere in December? Poinsettias, of course, which are to Christmas what pumpkins are to Halloween. You can wade into a sea of blooms November 7 through December 19 in Newcastle, Utah, where 500,000 plants thrive in 23 acres of greenhouses at Milgro Nursery. To keep the flowers warm well into winter, the growers tap several geothermal wells that reach 205°F.
Although poinsettias are famed for their crimson blossoms—actually red leaves around tiny yellow-green flowers—they also come in white, pink, and varieties such as Jingle Bells, a spattered red-and-white type. “But everyone wants what’s traditional,” says production manager Neil Watson, who estimates the crop is 85 percent red. Call if you’d like to tour the nursery: (435) 439-5285.
Photography by Mitsu Yasukawa/Star Ledger/Corbis
This article was first published in November 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.