Poinsettia, a tropical American plant with long, pointed, colorful bracts. (A bract is a modified leaf attached to a flower stalk. The poinsettia and some other plants have large, showy bracts that resemble petals, while the true flowers are inconspicuous). The bracts of the poinsettia are scarlet, pink, yellow, or white. The flowers, clustered just above the bracts, are small and greenish-yellow. The leaves, three to six inches (7.5 to 15 cm) long, are oval or slightly lobed. As a potted plant, the poinsettia grows two to four feet (60 to 120 cm) tall. The plant is named after Joel R. Poinsett (17791851), the first United States minister to Mexico, who introduced it into cultivation. It is traditionally associated with the Christmas season.

The poinsettia is Euphorbia pulcherrima of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae.

The poinsettiaThe poinsettia is a tropical plant with long, pointed, colorful bracts.