Poinsettia is practically synonymous with Christmas. It is the most famous plant during the holiday season and a symbol of Christmas all over the world.
It belongs in the Euphorbia family, species pulcherrima. It is a native of Mexico, named after Joel Robert Poinsett (1779 - 1851), a physician, botanist, American Statesman, member of United States House of Representatives and the first United States minister to Mexico.
What we consider poinsettia flowers are actually leaves, not petals. "The flowers are grouped within the small yellow structures found in the center of each leaf bunch, and they are called cyathia.".. according to wikipedia.
I don't always buy poinsettia every year. Last year I received a beautiful plant as a gift and I managed to keep it alive, following directions I read from various websites.
I have been keeping it in complete darkness in my basement for several weeks; but it has yet to produce bright color blooms.
Several years ago I had one in maroon...
and one in pale pink.
Yesterday, I picked up one small plant called Strawberries and Cream, Peter Jacobson's Eckaloha, from Paul Ecke Ranch. 'Propagation Prohibited' was printed on the accompanying tag when I purchased it from a nearby nursery,
I also saw some relatively new cultivars, called winter rose or early rose poinsettias at the nursery, but I prefer the the old-fashioned to the new hybrid ones.
Poinsettia has been included on the list of house plants most helpful in removing pollutants from indoor air since 1992.