The Adventure Continues… Poinsettias
This Wednesday I’ve decided to repeat one of my favorite Christmas episodes that I originally featured back in 2018. Just as I wrote the first time I shared this 2004 episode of California’s Gold, I thought it would be good to take another look at where and how these beautiful Christmas flowers are grown and their history in Southern California. Although the Eckes were a huge part of the poinsettia industry for nearly 100 years, the family sold their ranch in 2015, and the job of producing all those beautiful poinsettia plants now belongs to a Dutch company known as Dümmen Orange.
I would note (again) that the ‘crazy’ colors that frequently show up in the stores this time of year are not a special variety but are dyed with a substance that doesn’t harm the plants. And if you’re wondering about the best way to care for your poinsettia plant, the Laidback Gardener has some really great advice on his blog.
Albert Ecke immigrated from Germany to Southern California in 1902 and opened a roadside stall selling fruits and vegetables. By the 1920s his son Paul started selling some of the wild poinsettia plants that grew in the hills above their stall. From these small beginnings, it is now estimated that over 90% of all flowering poinsettias get their start at the Paul Ecke Ranch. Join Huell as he meets Paul, Paul Jr. & Paul III, who give them a tour of this amazing and brightly colored piece of California’s Christmas Gold.