Saturday, December 24, 2005

I'd been believing a lie about innocent flowers

During my stint as a research librarian, I frequently had to find the legend of that favorite bright red Christmas flower for patrons. It's a Little Drummer Boy-like story of a boy with no gift for the Christ child, so he delivers a humble bouquet of weeds that turn into bright red poinsettias.

It's one of those Christmas asides, sort of like the Yule season variation on Easter's Legend of the Dogwood, I guess. It's sort of the myth that justifies the real reason we send the potted flowers: 'Cause they're red. Another example of the value of story and myth, I suppose.

Another myth
Blind fool that I am, I've believed a different poinsettia myth for years now. God as my witness, I thought poinsettias were poison.

My favorite argument-settling site,, has opened my eyes. You may not want to add red flower petals to the holiday menu, but they're not as lethal as we're usually led to believe.

Snopes reveals that story stems from a misdiagnosis in 1919.

Another example that urban myth never lets the truth get in the way of a good story.

1 comment:

ladydaria said...

Just surfing and wishing every one a Merry Christmas!

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