Blood of an Aztec goddess
The Aztecs, who lived in today’s Mexico between the 14th and 16th Centuries, called the poinsettia plant Cuetlaxochitl, which means ‘leather flower’.It was used to embellish temples, and was seen as a symbol of new life for warriors who had fallen in battle, and also provided a healing plant and coloured dye. Aztec legend says that Cuetlaxochitl was the favouriteflower of Montezuma, the Aztec ruler. He believed thered stain on its upper leaves came from the blood of anAztec goddess who died of a broken heart. His legend spread all the way to Europe, where it most likely inspired the poinsettia’s French name; Étoile d’amour, or Star of Love.