Definition of poinsettia in US English:



  • A small Mexican shrub with large showy scarlet bracts surrounding the small yellow flowers, popular as a houseplant at Christmas.

    "Euphorbia formerly 'Poinsettia' pulcherrima", family "Euphorbiaceae"

    • ‘With cooler winter temperatures, different levels of size and color can be found in cassias, camellias, hollies (with their berries), and poinsettias.’
    • ‘The best flowers to give at Christmas time are orchids, holly, poinsettias, and the Christmas cactus as well as any red flower.’
    • ‘In addition to their role as traditional Christmas decorations, poinsettias can serve as tokens of goodwill, friendship and joy during the holiday season and beyond.’
    • ‘Plants turn their leaves too - just before Christmas the poinsettia turns red and Snow on the Mountain begins to turn white.’
    • ‘Cut off any colored bracts and prune the poinsettia to about 5 to 7 inches.’
    • ‘Kyra, the flower lady, gave the Swede and I poinsettias for Christmas.’
    • ‘If you saved a poinsettia from last year's holidays, October's the time to start coaxing it back into bloom.’
    • ‘What we got in return were cocoa, corn, tomatoes, dahlias, jalapa mirabilis, poinsettias and a host of other flowers and of course capsicums, both sweet and chilli.’
    • ‘And remember to get your poinsettias and your Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti ready for well-timed holiday color.’
    • ‘Their hideout has been festively decorated with Christmas presents, poinsettias and a sleigh.’
    • ‘Even after two eternal, painful years, flowers still graced the headstone, every Sunday, and poinsettias every Christmas.’
    • ‘I'm writing so that, hopefully, you can alert your readers to the very real danger of these flowers and also other various plants which are poisonous to cats, particularly poinsettias and spider plants.’
    • ‘When I visited Heather's grave site in December 1997, the headstone was flanked by potted poinsettias, fresh carnations, a Christmas wreath and several angel figurines.’
    • ‘While poinsettia is the most popular, a Christmas cactus in full bloom is a great gift and easy to care for once the flowers have faded.’
    • ‘If the poinsettia is already producing pollen, a portion of its useful display life has already passed and the bracts will begin to fade.’
    • ‘‘Well, today I have poinsettias or fir cones for you,’ said the tutor.’
    • ‘Any holiday plants (like poinsettias, etc.) that were received for the holidays will last longer if given proper attention.’
    • ‘I wrote sponsor letters to local corporate companies, newspapers and radio stations and did one fund-raiser after another, from poinsettias at Christmas to cosmetics on Valentines Day.’
    • ‘Lavender, rosemary and thyme gathered in thick clumps under the windows, with poinsettias, passionflower, marigolds, marguerites and hollyhocks growing wild in the borders.’
    • ‘For most Americans poinsettias are like Douglas firs: You buy them for Christmas, and throw them out along with all that shredded wrapping paper.’


Mid 19th century: modern Latin, named after Joel R. Poinsett (1779–1851), American diplomat and amateur botanist.