Christmas there are some plants that acquire a special interest,
because they decorate our homes with their elegant semblance
in a moment when there are not to many flowers, like the
Poinsettia. Other, as the mistletoe, because they have been
chosen as a symbol of Christmas and it is part of the tradition
for them to be with us during these days.
Among the most distinctive plants of Christmas it is necessary
to mention the following ones:
Mistletoe: Considered as an amulet of good luck, mistletoe floods
the squares where Christmas products are sold as a Christmas
token. It is said that people who buy a little stem of
this plant, will have good of luck the coming year. This
belief has almost put the species in danger of extinction
in many places. Mistletoe is a very valuable plant for its
medicinal properties. Constituting one of the best resources
to reduce the blood pressure. In most of the cases its sale
is illegal and its purchase should be avoided not to put
in danger the survival of the species.
is a parasite plant that feeds of the species it
grasps on, sucking the sap.
is a plant with medicinal properties. Its leaves and
its bark have been used to cure fever and rheumatism,
although it can be toxic. It seems the rabbits enjoy
gnawing the branches, what returns them their appetite
in the event of inappetence.
It is another of the plants very used in Christmas to
decorate our homes. It is usually sold in form of cut
branches, replete of brilliant red fruits. The habit seems
to come from the Romans that used to decorate the streets
with branches during Saturnalia festivals. Its fruits,
toxic for people, are very nutritious for numerous species
of the forest that sometimes have these fruits at their
disposal as the only alimentary resource. The habit of
cutting its branches has supposed a setback in the species
that has been legally protected. If we want to buy it
during these holidays, we should make sure that it comes
from legal farming
broom: It is another of the plants whose branches,
adorned with beautiful fruits in form of red marbles, are
cut and sold during Christmas holidays . Its leaves are
practically invisible and what appear to be real leaves
are in fact the cladodes, some modified stems, ovate -lanceolate,
ending with a sharp little spine, working as leaves. It
is a plant with very valuable medicinal properties because
it helps us to eliminate water of our body, so that it will
be very useful in illnesses like obesity, rheumatism or
dropsy. The habit of selling cut branches in Christmas has
reduced the extension of the species considerably.
It is a plant of the asparagus family. As matter of
fact, it is very related with asparaguses, since people
used to eat the tender buds of butcher's broom as if
they were so. In many places its branches are used to
make brooms, hence the origin of its popular noun.
scientific name Pulcherrima is due to the fact
that it was supposed to be one of the most beautiful
plants (Pulcher in Latin means, the tidiest,
the most beautiful) . It is also known as poinsettia
because it was introduced in United States by Joel Robert
Poinsett in 1825. It is one of most appreciated plant
in United States, so that December 12 is known as the
National Day of Poinsettia.
it would be wiser for us to use its another popular name,
Christmas Star, since this plant shines with its own light
during these days. Belonging to Spurge family and native
from Mexico, this plant is particularly interesting because
of its bracts, which look like red or yellowish petals.
Its flowers are yellow and very small. There has been
many discussions on the possible toxicity, although it
seems that it is less toxic than it was supposed to. Anyway,
don't refrain ourselves to buy it during these days so
that it can cheer our homes with its amazing colors.