Holiday Glow

A winter favorite appears in full glory at the Botanical Garden.

Where to find them: Emerson Conservatory, part of the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center.

Kristina DeYong

Photography by Pat Scace


As the weather grows cold and home gardens are put to bed for the season, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Holiday Floral Show is just warming up with thousands of varieties of brightly blooming poinsettias on rotating display.

In the Garden’s greenhouses where the poinsettias are grown, the horticulture team has been preparing for the Holiday Floral Show for months, using special coverings to shroud the poinsettias in darkness for hours at a time. This mimics the conditions in the wild that cause a poinsettia to produce its red “flowers,” which are actually specialized leaves called bracts.

Among the poinsettias featured in this year’s show are two new introductions: The “Christmas Mouse Red” and “Ranch Red” varieties. The “Christmas Mouse Red” poinsettia’s bracts are uniquely rounded, giving them the appearance of mouse ears, and the “Ranch Red” poinsettia stands out with unusually prominent clusters of yellow cyathia.

The Garden has been hosting annual flower shows since the early 1900s. This year, the tradition continues in a spectacular new space: the Garden’s brand-new Emerson Conservatory, part of the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center, will house this year’s Holiday Floral Show.

The Holiday Floral Show opens to the public on November 19 and will be open during both regular daytime hours and the Garden Glow holiday light show.