Christmas tradition with Poinsettias

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) belongs the family Euphorbiaceae which consist of rubber plants and Euphorbia. This family also known as the Spurge family, is well known for exudating white milky and sticky saps. The “flower” that we see as bright red is part of the inflorescence. The bright red organs are known as bracts (modified leaves which always accompany the inflorescence) and the true flowers which are surrounded by the bracts are without sepals and petals. Due to their unattractiveness, these plants have evolved to have the leaves surrounding the inflorescences which turned red to attract pollinators. The green bracts will turn…

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Nothing in Nature Bloom All-Year

Flowering is a much-anticipated event particularly during Spring. It is religiously celebrated in some countries such as Japan. Tourists from around the globe travel to Japan to celebrate Hanami, i.e. the cherry blossom (Sakura) festival and appreciate the blossom. However, plants develop flowers not for our benefit and adoration but to continue their next generations. Plants first appear on earth as non-flowering or gymnosperms. These includes all the ferns, pines, Cycad and Gingko. Their reproductive organs are somewhat primitive, some plants producing seeds, some just spores. At this point, they were not termed as flowers. The first emergence of flowers was…

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