Encinitas, Calif.
Photo courtesy of Ecke Ranch

Encinitas, Calif.

Curiously, even though Christmas derives its identity from snow and cold, one of the most recognizable emblems of the season is flamboyantly tropical: the poinsettia. Encinitas is home to the world's largest grower of these stunning plants, Ecke Ranch, which produces 70 percent of the poinsettias sold in the United States. Ecke Ranch grows a rainbow assortment of colors, including traditional reds, pinks and creams, and a recently introduced bright-white variety called Polar Bear whose sales benefit the conservation of these endangered animals.

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