|Friday Five: Flowers for Christmas|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Friday, 24 December 2010|
Christmas flowers such as Christmas cactus, Christmas rose, poinsettia, and others bloom during the Christmas season and are used in festive decorations as well.
1. Christmas Rose (Hellebore niger)
Native to southern and central Europe, the Christmas rose (pictured above) is cultivated as an ornamental plant in the US. At Christmas time it is often propagated in pots. In its native land, this plant blooms between December and April and is associated with a legend surrounding Christís birth (The Legend of the Christmas Rose) hence the name Christmas rose.
2. Christmas Cactus
The Christmas cactus is native to Brazil and is one of those plants that really does bloom around Christmas time. An easy houseplant to grow, Christmas cactus, unlike most other cacti, has no spines. The flowers bloom at the tips of the gracefully arching branches.
3. Paperwhite Narcissus
Paperwhite narcissus, a flower that by nature blooms in spring, but is often forced into bloom at Christmas time. They are amongst the easiest bulbs to force, blooming 4 to 6 weeks after potting and the fragrant, pretty white flowers are often used as centerpieces.
The large tropical blooms of the amaryllis are a perennial Christmas favorite, and while red or white amaryllis are the classic colors of the season, pink, salmon, orange, and bi-colored varieties are also available. Itís also easy to keep your amaryllis blooming year after year.
With their bright red (or white) bracts and dark green leaves, poinsettias are a festive accent for any homeówhether itís a single poinsettia or a group of them.