But when I got to Maui, I began to notice how lyrical they are when planted in the earth and allowed to become the shrubs–what a great word, sounds Yiddish–they really are.
Today I visited the Enchanting Floral Gardens, an aptly named 8-acre garden that reflects the passionate gardening of a husband and wife team now in their late seventies. There are tarmac paths wandering hither and yon through a garden of splendid plants, some of them flowering, some of them spent. All interesting, exotic, and beguiling.
It turns out that Poinsettias are a member of the huge Euphorbia family of plants. And who knew until reading MAUI’S FLORAL SPLENDOR by Angela Kay Kepler that “In 1820, Joel Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico and an amateur botanist, became so enamored” of this plant that he shipped some cuttings back to his hometown of Charleston.
Since then, both the wild type and cultivars have spread throughout the tropical world, including this most blessed of islands, Maui. I think I might like poinsettias after all.