poin·​set·​tia | \ pȯin-ˈse-tē-ə How to pronounce poinsettia (audio) , nonstandard pȯint-, nonstandard -ˈse-tə How to pronounce poinsettia (audio) \

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 Healthy poinsettia plants are very durable and normally receive a hard pruning in early spring. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 15 May 2021 Trim the poinsettia back to within 18 inches of the ground and apply a slow-release fertilizer as instructed on the label through fall. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 20 Mar. 2021 What started out as an ordinary poinsettia from a grocery store has now turned into the talk of the town. Brett Harman, CNN, 4 Dec. 2020 Healthy poinsettia plants can withstand heavy spring pruning to regrow and produce another colorful display by December. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 24 Apr. 2021 Attractions include the Paul Ecke historic poinsettia display, the sweet pea maze, greenhouses, a playground and the gardens maintained by the San Diego County Master Gardeners. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Feb. 2021 Steinfeld’s belted wool top and matching straight-leg pants were a head to toe holiday tribute, enhanced by a backdrop of pine wreaths and poinsettia. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 28 Dec. 2020 Allow the poinsettia plants to dry a little before watering. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 12 Dec. 2020 Use poinsettia as individual specimens or build a display. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, 10 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for poinsettia

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The first known use of poinsettia was in 1836

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Cite this Entry

“Poinsettia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poinsettia. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for poinsettia



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 How to pronounce poinsettia (audio) , -ˈse-tə \

Kids Definition of poinsettia

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

More from Merriam-Webster on poinsettia

Nglish: Translation of poinsettia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poinsettia


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