Fun Facts About The Poinsettia and Ecke Ranch

Jingle Bell Rock PoinsettiaIf you are lucky, you will have the opportunity to see a real plant trial. One of my favorites is Poinsettia trials.   Many of the poinsettia varieties I like are from Ecke Ranch. After noticing my favorites were from the ranch I decided to do some research.   In today’s post, Fun Facts About The Poinsettia and Ecke Ranch

Fun Facts About Ecke Ranch

poinsettia costa farms

I can remember my first trip to the San Diego area and searching for the Botanical Garden.  Not too far from that location was ‘Ecke Ranch’.  Little did I know we were so close to such a historical place where all the Poinsettias were ‘born’.

The poinsettia plant, to botanists, is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima. But to everyone else, the flower that curiously blooms in the winter is synonymous with the holidays — and that’s largely due to a Southern California farmer: Paul Ecke Sr.

Paul Ecke Sr. would pack dormant plants in a suitcase and go visit growers across the country in the 1920s and teach them how to grow the product. Paul Ecke Jr. played an important part in bringing the poinsettia to television having the plant featured on shows like Andy Williams and Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 1960s.

Ecke is the world’s largest supplier of poinsettia genetics, commanding nearly 70% of the global market, and is the primary holder of varietal patents. Ecke is also one of the largest suppliers of spring annual products. Although founded in the San Diego County community of Encinitas, Ecke currently maintains key production facilities in Guatemala and Mexico, as well as supplemental locations throughout the United States and Canada.

The poinsettia farming empire in Southern California which, at one point, controlled 90% of the market. Poinsettias went from near obscurity to a $140 million annual market in the U.S., based on a 2015 analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the latest available. Poinsettias are the second-largest potted flowering plant market. Orchids are the largest selling at $288 million. – According to Investors.com.

About the Poinsettia

Did you know.... the Holiday plant we know as the Poinsettia was used to treat fevers?  From its bracts, the Aztecs would extract a purplish dye for use in textiles and cosmetics as well.  In fact, it was Joel Roberts Poinsett who was the first Ambassador to Mexico (1825-1829) who played a part in bringing the Euphorbia pulcherrima (literally, “the most beautiful Euphorbia”) out of the region.

fall poinsettia plants on table display

The images above are courtesy of Ecke Ranch 2013

Let’s Connect

In conclusion, I would love to hear from you so consider posting in the comments below. what color poinsettia did you like in this blog post?  Do you display poinsettias in your home or garden during the Christmas season?  Be sure to let me know on my website.

Happy Holidays and Poinsettia Shopping,

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