The Poinsettia Mystery Debunked


Poinsettias. How do you even pronounce that? PO-yen-set-yas? Poin-set-TEA-ahs?

*After further research I have discovered that it is pronounced: poin-SET-ah.

Now that this has been cleared, let’s get to the real question. How do these mystical plants appear on the campus of 11600 Welch Road, and where did they go after Winter Break?  During my five-mile walk from the overflow parking lot to the A.R.C., I came up with possible theories.

Conspiracy Theory #1:

The red and green, festive plants migrated here due to harsh winters in the north. They have sought shelter at the Hockaday School for Girls (and plants) and after the break, they traveled back to New York City, the city that never sleeps.

Conspiracy Theory #2:

The Illuminati has delivered these lethal plants to us in an effort to sabotage our school.

*Disclaimer: I have debunked this theory after eating a leaf. As far as I can tell, the plants aren’t lethal and I have yet to throw up. I would rate safety of consuming the plants a 9.3/10. Taste would have to be a 1/10.

Conspiracy Theory #3:

These are just some “festive” plants used to “decorate” the school campus because it’s “holiday” season. This one is honestly an outrageous theory, but I thought I should include it just for kicks.

In order to further investigate this enigma, I set out on an adventure around campus.

I first visited the security desk in the A.R.C. because they are in charge of monitoring who enters and exits the school. Security Guard Eric Roberson was on duty at the time and said he believes that “a parent pays for the plants to be delivered to the school every year.”

After additional research, I discovered that Roberson was correct. According to Carolyn Hoke, Director of Housekeeping, the poinsettia tradition dates back to 1979; the plants are a gift from the Priddy family whose daughters have attended Hockaday for three generations. “They are placed around the school to bring smiles and cheer to all during the holiday season,” Hoke said.

As a way to give thanks to faculty and staff for all they do to educate and support the students., the plants are available for all of Hockaday’s faculty and staff to take home and enjoy before the Winter Break.

See you next winter, sweet poinsettias.