poin·​set·​tia | \pȯin-ˈse-tē-ə, nonstandard pȯint-, nonstandard -ˈse-tə \

Definition of poinsettia 

: any of several spurges (genus Euphorbia) with flower clusters subtended by showy involucral bracts especially : a showy Mexican and Central American plant (E. pulcherrima) with tapering usually scarlet bracts that suggest petals and surround small yellow flowers

Illustration of poinsettia

Illustration of poinsettia

Examples of poinsettia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Trim back 4 to 6 inches of new poinsettia growth to keep the plants compact. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "June in the garden," 26 May 2018 There are the same leggy poinsettia and the same trees of pink and yellow hibiscus. Alice Bolin, Los Angeles Magazine, "What People Should Read About L.A. Before They Move to L.A.," 26 June 2018 The poinsettia’s family, the euphorbias, exude an irritating latex-like fluid. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Some of South Florida's most popular plants may be toxic to pets," 14 June 2018 Plant Easter lilies and poinsettias in the landscape. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "May in the garden," 28 Apr. 2018 One tradition claims the five slits represent Jesus’ wounds and the markings represent the Christmas star on one side and a poinsettia on the other. Susan Moeller, BostonGlobe.com, "A beachcombing guide: Things to find at the beach," 2 May 2018 Repot or add holiday poinsettias to the landscape; give all a spring trimming. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "April in the garden," 31 Mar. 2018 Situated on a cleared bluff, the two-story wooden and glass-sided lodge was surrounded by flowering plants—poinsettias, anthuriums, heliconias, and ferns—and had a breathtaking view over the descending hills to the sea. Jon Lee Anderson, Condé Nast Traveler, "Stepping Beyond Cartagena: Exploring Colombia's Northern Reaches," 21 Mar. 2018 The workers that worked in the greenhouses grew poinsettias for the soldiers at Christmas time. Clarence Hill, star-telegram, "Jerry Jones: Mavs issues, others have Cowboys more attuned to workplace culture | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 3 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poinsettia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of poinsettia

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for poinsettia

New Latin, from Joel R. Poinsett †1851 American diplomat

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The first known use of poinsettia was in 1836

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English Language Learners Definition of poinsettia

: a plant with large red, pink, or white leaves that look like petals


poin·​set·​tia | \pȯin-ˈse-tē-ə, -ˈse-tə\

Kids Definition of poinsettia

: a tropical plant with showy usually red leaves that grow like petals around its small greenish yellow flowers

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