1st December 2008
The Poinsettia is a wonderful plant, but they are hypochondriacs that live in a high pressure world pumped up with sticky white sap. As a young man
I must have been a little more sinful than I recall, because I used to grow them commercially. No rest for the wicked, and I certainly
got no rest. Put them to bed every night under their light proof curtains, wake them up every morning, chase off every conceivable pest
and disease and cuttings, cuttings, cuttings, always white sticky cuttings oozing sputtering and spewing forth latex on the unwary
On the other hand, I do love them dearly, so all is forgiven!
I bought this one because of it's complicated variegated pattern - it took me a while to sort out how it was managing to organise its meristems to produce the effect,
and such are the puzzles that sometimes lead to understanding.
However, it is a pretty thing and it currently decorates my windowsill. It is unlikely that it will survive until next year. A cocktail of growth regulators
nutrients and high humidity coupled with some fairly extreme environmental manipulation to persuade it to flower in time for winter add together to cause a sort
of biological fatique. Once they have flowered they quite like to lapse into a Snow White sleep, and I'm the closest thing it will find to a Charming Prince,
so the outlook isn't good.
It has been suggested that this one is 'Jingle Bells' - I'm not entirely convinced, there are thousands of clones out there, and many of them are only
identified by stock numbers, but 'Jingle Bells' is a place to start.