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EUPHORBIA pulcherrima (FREEDOM™ SERIES)

Image of Euphorbia pulcherrima (FREEDOM™ SERIES)

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Botanical Name

EUPHORBIA pulcherrima( FREEDOM™ SERIES)

Plant Common Name

Freedom™ Poinsettia, Poinsettia

General Description

The most widely sold poinsettias in North America, cultivars in the Freedom™ series are noted for their richly hued flower bracts, deep green leaves, compact multi-branched habit, and early bloom. They were selected and introduced by Paul Ecke Ranch of Encinitas, California. Like all modern selections of Euphorbia pulcherrima, Freedom™ cultivars were developed to meet the massive demand for bushy, compact, greenhouse-produced poinsettias that flower in time for the holidays. Their wild ancestors in western Mexico are leggy, medium-sized deciduous shrubs that often shed their leaves before blooming.

All poinsettias have upright woody stems with large, slightly lobed leaves and milky sap. As nights lengthen in fall, clusters of inconspicuous yellow blooms with showy petal-like bracts develop at the stem tips. Freedom™ poinsettias have large red, scarlet red, white, pink, or salmon-pink bracts that may be speckled or striped, depending on the cultivar. Greenhouse-grown specimens retain their leaves through much of winter.

Poinsettias require full to partial sun and average to fertile well-drained soil. Store-bought poinsettias can be moved to a sunny window or a frost-free garden niche after they bloom. They will grow larger in subsequent years, often far exceeding the dimensions cited in this description.

These tender ornamentals can be reluctant to rebloom because flowering is triggered by long nights. The best method is to site plants in natural daylight, where they will experience shortening days. Professional growers shade their plants at night starting around the autumnal equinox to ensure full bract coloration 6 to 8 weeks later.

Poinsettia is sometimes the subject of health concerns. See http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Euphopu.htm

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    12"-30" / 30.5cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    12"-30" / 30.5cm - 76.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Red, Pink, Salmon, Crimson

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor, Multi-Color, Striped

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No