Horticultural experts in Northern Ireland have immersed themselves in the festive spirit by growing some of their very own bright red poinsettias.
The plants, which are a relatively new Christmas decoration in the grand scheme of things, have been produced at the Greenmount campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).
It is part of a project that teaches students about a species that is native to Mexico and also allows the students to raise money for a final year study trip by selling the poinsettias to colleagues and staff on campus.
Many people do not realise that this plant, which many of us associate with mid-winter, is actually from warmer climes.
It needs to be kept in full light at a temperature of between 18 and 24 degrees in order to survive.
“If you go to Mexico you won’t find little short poinsettias, they will maybe be up to two metres tall,” said senior lecturer Claire Woods.
“It’s modern horticultural methods which have allowed us to make them into a commercial pot plant crop.”
Some of the few hundred poinsettias produced by the students are currently on display at the Greenmount campus.
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