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This page is about the eponym poinsettia

Meaning: a Mexican plant with specialized bright red leaves called "bracts" surrounding small yellow flowers. It is a popular houseplant at Christmas.

For example:

  • We always have a poinsettia on our living room table at Christmas time.

  • Red and white poinsettias were placed all over the church before Christmas mass.

There are over a hundred varieties of poinsettia available today. Their bracts are often red or white but may also be pink, green or speckled.

Origin: Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851) was a botanist and the first US ambassador to Mexico. He introduced the poinsettia plant to the USA in 1825.

Quick Quiz:

What part of the poinsettia is usually red?

a. its flowers

b. its bracts

c. its roots

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Contributor: Tara Benwell