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Holiday spirit in full bloom

Thursday, December 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:20 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Judy Burton looks at poinsettias Wednesday in the lobby of MU’s Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building at the annual sale organized by the MU Horticulture Club.

Burton purchased three large plants: one for her parents, one for her office and one to take home.

“I buy them here every year,” Burton said. “I like to support the kids.”

The sale started at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and by noon, all the smaller sizes were sold out.

Club members grow the poinsettias on campus each year specifically for the sale.

The club also holds a rose sale for Valentine’s Day and a bedding plant sale in April.

Poinsettia figures

  • 500: bracts (colored leaves) of poinsettias a 50-pound child can eat and only experience a slight stomach ache, according to a study at Ohio State University; for pets, the plant can cause irritation but is not very poisonous
  • 1825: year poinsettias were introduced into the United States from Mexico by Joel Poinsett
  • 90: percent of poinsettias worldwide now exported from the United States
  • $220 million: money spent during the holiday season on poinsettias, the most popular Christmas plant and best-selling potted plant
  • 85: percent of the potted plant sales made during the holiday season
  • 6 weeks: time-period most poinsettias are sold
  • More than 100: varieties of poinsettias available
  • 80: percent of poinsettias purchased by women
  • 10 feet: height poinsettias can grow in nature
  • For more facts, visit www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/poinsettia


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