By Gabriela Garcia Guzman
Puebla, Mexico, Dec 7 (EFE).- Poinsettia harvest sales events have gotten under way in Atlixco, a municipality in the central Mexican state of Puebla where 15 different types of that plant are grown, including some innovative varieties.
Reds, pinks, yellows, whites and combinations of colors, all in different sizes, are available for purchase by people looking to decorate public places, homes, offices and any other space ahead of the Christmas holidays.
During a tour of one harvest sale at “El Encanto” nursery, Efe observed poinsettia plants in sizes ranging from 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) to 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) in diameter and between 15 cm and 60 cm in height.
Also available is a new poinsettia species known as “Glitter,” whose petals appear to have had paint splashed on them.
Those flowers can be mostly red with white or yellow, light pink combined with a stronger pink, as well as mainly white with pink or red.
Another variety growers have unveiled this year is one reminiscent of Mexico’s traditional cempasuchil (marigold), or Day of the Dead flower, but that is red in color rather than orange and has a long stem and puffy appearance.
Yet another variety on offer has a striking salmon pink color.
Atlixco is currently Mexico’s third-biggest producer of poinsettias thanks to its family flower growers, who are hopeful this latest harvest will be a lucrative one.
Amid the highest inflation in two decades, the prices of these plants are being held at a range of between 20 pesos ($1) to 500 pesos with the goal of selling more than 1 million potted plants nationwide.
Vicente Nieto Castillo, El Encanto’s general supervisor, told Efe that poinsettias hold special significance for families at Christmas time.
He said the growing season begins in April to ensure high-quality flowers are ready for sale by mid-November.
“Red (flowers) make up 70 percent of production,” Nieto Castillo said, though adding that a range of colors are beginning to be sold “because there are people who like what’s different or unusual colors with different leaves.”
One visitor to the nursery, Karina Alonso, said she had never been to a similar place before despite being a native of Puebla, adding that she was impressed by the wide variety of different poinsettias available for purchase.
She said she chose one with a strong pink color because it was different from anything she had seen before. EFE