Christmas Plants

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Holly (ilex aquifolium)

With its red berries and elegant, pointed leaves, holly has become the Christmas plant par excellence, the favoured adornment and decoration for this time of year.

For the Celts holly brought good luck and prosperity, so they made use of it when the winter solstice came around. Druids regarded it as a sacred plant, as did the Romans, who associated it with the god Saturn. Its evergreen leaves are a reference to eternal life.

Today holly is a protected species and only commercially grown holly cultivated under certain conditions can be sold.

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Poinsettia, or Christmas flower (euphorbia pulcherrima)

Originally from Mexico, the poinsettia has established a place among Christmas home decorations thanks to its vivid red flowers, which blossom in winter, and its dark green leaves.

In fact, for the poinsettia to flower, it is essential that it is not left in direct sunlight for more than twelve straight hours. That is why it is an ideal plant for this time of year.

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Mistletoe (viscum album)

Like holly, mistletoe is associated with good luck and regarded as a sort of charm. But you have to give it as a present for it to keep its beneficial properties.

It is customary to hang it on the front door, to frighten evil spirits, although you can also put it on door frames or the ceiling. It is also said that if a couple meet by chance under the mistletoe they have to kiss and, that way, they will be assured of love and happiness.

Mistletoe must be burnt every year and replaced with another sprig, which should also be a gift.

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