poinsettia

[poin-set-ee-uh, -set-uh]
noun
  1. a plant, Euphorbia (Poinsettia) pulcherrima, of the spurge family, native to Mexico and Central America, having variously lobed leaves and brilliant scarlet, pink, or white petallike bracts.

Origin of poinsettia

1830–40; < New Latin, named after J. R. Poinsett (1799–1851), American minister to Mexico, who discovered the plant there in 1828; see -ia
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British Dictionary definitions for poinsettia

poinsettia

noun
  1. a euphorbiaceous shrub, Euphorbia (or Poinsettia) pulcherrima, of Mexico and Central America, widely cultivated for its showy scarlet bracts, which resemble petals

Word Origin for poinsettia

C19: New Latin, from the name of J. P. Poinsett (1799–1851), US Minister to Mexico, who introduced it to the US
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for poinsettia
n.

from the genus name (1836), Modern Latin, in recognition of Joel R. Poinsett (1779-1851), U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who is said to have brought the plant to the attention of botanists.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper