If you’re wanting a plant to provide the rich red of Christmas, look no further than the poinsettia, but this holiday icon has a lot more variety than people think.
There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available and they come in shades of white, pink, burgundy, marbled and speckled along with the traditional red. The colorful portion of the plant is not the flower, but its modified leaves known as bracts.
The color of the bracts can actually be determined before the poinsettia blooms by checking the stem, or petiole, color. Petioles that are red will produce red bracts, while light green stems mean the bracts will be white. Varied bracts have petioles with a combination of light green and red.
You can check out history of the poinsettia here and view some of the popular and new novelty varieties that are on the market below.
The variety sticks with the classic red, but mixes things up with the puckered, down curling bracts and leaves. This poinsettia is for those who like to stray from the conventional, but not too far.
White is not a new shade for the poinsettia but Christmas Glory White is new for this year. It is a creamy white, and has large heart-shaped bracts. This poinsettia can work with subdued décor or an all-white Christmas theme.
For those who want the best of both worlds, Red Glitter has red bracts covered in white speckles and splashes. Its leaves are a very dark green. It can add a bit of flair to any holiday decorations.
In the variegated realm, Ice Punch is a nice mixture of rouge and cream. Its bracts are pointer than most poinsettias’, making this variety all the more eye-catching. This cultivar can work well as a statement piece on its own or in groups.
As elegant and sophisticated as its name sounds, this poinsettia is a classy option for this holiday. It features soft pink, pale gold and cream blended together. It has a romantic feel to it and could grace a winter wedding with ease.
Another new addition for 2016 is the chartreuse poinsettia known as Envy, playing off the phrase “green with envy.” This poinsettia is for those who want to stand out from the crowd completely.
As the name suggests, this poinsettia looks more like it should be sitting beside a pumpkin or cornucopia instead of a Christmas tree. Its bracts are a pale peachy yellow sprinkled with pink. This poinsettia works well for those who aren’t ready to say good bye to the fall colors just yet.