from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A shrub (Euphorbia pulcherrima) native to Mexico that has a cluster of small yellow flowers surrounded by showy, usually scarlet petal-like bracts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A former genus of American apetalous plants of the order Euphorbiaceæ and tribe Euphorbieæ, how included as a section of the vast genus Euphorbia.
  • noun [lowercase] The Euphorbia (Poinsettia) pulcherrima, a plant much cultivated in conservatories.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A Mexican shrub (Euphorbia pulcherrima) with very large and conspicuous vermilion bracts below the yellowish flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A plant, Euphorbia pulcherrima, with rather small and insignificant flowers but large brightly coloured leaves.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun tropical American plant having poisonous milk and showy tapering usually scarlet petallike leaves surrounding small yellow flowers


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin, after Joel Roberts Poinsett, (1779–1851), American diplomat who sent samples of the plant to the United States while in Mexico.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

After the obsolete genus name Poinsettia, named after Joel Roberts Poinsett (19th-century US minister to Mexico).


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  • Completely different from a pointsetta, which, from the sounds of it, must be a mixed breed dog found in a Georgia pound. I suppose those could make nice Christmas presents too, but they require a bit more than watering.

    December 9, 2006