Beginning in July, over 100 dedicated URI Master Gardener volunteers raised over 1600 poinsettia plants in the URI greenhouses in Kingstown, RI. These poinsettia cuttings were provided by three poinsettia breeders, all participants in the North American Poinsettia trials. In return for the cuttings, the breeders are provided with reports on the growth patterns of each variety. In November, 500 mature plants from the URI greenhouses were sent to the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. There are eighteen varieties of poinsettias on display, including red, pink, white and marbled.
While poinsettias are native to Mexico and can grow to a height of 10 feet, 90 percent of the poinsettias grown for the holiday season come from the United States and over 80 percent of the poinsettias grown for the wholesale market come from a single ranch in California-the Paul Ecke Ranch. Poinsettias are the highest selling potted plant in the United States, and comprise over 85% of all plant sales during the holidays. Red is the favorite color.
December 12 is National Poinsettia Day.