Why are there poinsettias on the hearth?

Why are there poinsettias on the hearth?
Poinsettias were attached to Christmas starting in 1828.

Joel Roberts Poinsett, then the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, imported the plant from Mexico. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

    In warm climates, the poinsettia grows outdoors as a winter-flowering leggy shrub about 3 metres (10 feet) high; as a potted plant in northern areas it rarely grows beyond 1 metre. What appear to be petals are actually coloured leaflike bracts that surround a central cluster of tiny yellow flowers. A milky latex in the stems and leaves can be irritating to persons or animals sensitive to it, but the claim that poinsettias are deadly poisonous is greatly exaggerated.

    ("Poinsettia," Britannica CD. Version 97. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1997.)

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