|Ornamental horticulture students and poinsettias|
“We have a great program thanks to the support of industry, gardening clubs and the community, and the poinsettia sale is just one manifestation of that excellence,” said Donald Schultz, the Ornamental Horticulture’s program coordinator.
The annual poinsettia sale is a project involving about 30 students in courses that include plant propagation and the fundamentals of ornamental horticulture. Five hundred poinsettias were ordered in the spring and delivered as fledgling, half-inch plants in early summer. Students spent the next several months fertilizing and watering the plants, pinching the tops twice to help them grow more full-bodied.
Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture nursery is at the college at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego. The nursery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (It will be closed for the Thanksgiving weekend.) The nursery is located at Building M, near the bus turnaround at the end of Cuyamaca College Drive West.
- The red parts of the poinsettia are modified leaves called bracts, not flowers. The flowers are small and yellow and usually bloom in December.
- More than 100 varieties of poinsettias are available. In addition to the traditional red, poinsettias also come in white, pink, burgundy, marbled and speckled.
- Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced the poinsettia plant to the United States from Mexico. Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico.
- In Mexico, the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10 to 15 feet tall.
- December 12th is Poinsettia Day, which marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1851.