I've never really been all that fond of poinsettias, but after spending the day photographing them at the Lincoln Park Conservatory and seeing the great variety of colors, I am now a fan. Like so many things in nature, once you learn a bit more about the plant and get up close to observe all its intricate beauty, you gain a new appreciation for it. I learned that there are about 100 varieties of poinsettias, although the red poinsettia is by far the most popular because of its association with Christmas. The poinsettia is part of the spurge family. The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts or leaves. The yellow flowers (cyathia) are in the center of the colorful bracts. Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not poisonous.
I was most captivated by the bracts of these pale pink poinsettias.