Those colorful “petals” aren’t flowers

I’ve been seeing a lot of poinsettias in stores this week and thought I would give you a bit of information about these gorgeous Christmas “flowers”. Those colorful “petals” aren’t flowers but bracts. What is a bract? According to the dictionary: “a modified leaf or scale, typically small, with a flower or flower cluster in its axil. Bracts are sometimes larger and more brightly colored than the true flower, as in a poinsettia.” So the bracts are actually modified leaves and the true flowers are the little yellow clusters in the center of the bracts.

Poinsettia in an ornament planter

White poinsettia bracts with yellow center flowers

Below is a close up of the flowers that are shown above.

Poinsettia flowers

 

 

Poinsettia bracts

The bracts come in so many different colors and variegations and new hybrids are being brought to market all the time. Then of course, there are the painted ones. Most of the time, white poinsettias are used and painted in a myriad of colors. I personally like the peach ones….Yes, I said I liked a painted plant! Don’t faint. Anyway, whether they are pink, white, marbled, red, or painted, I LOVE poinsettias. Do you like them? Decorate with them? What color is your favorite?

Poinsettia tree at Belle Isle Conservatory a few years ago

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