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A picture of a Poinsettia


Euphorbia pulcherrima

Also known as

Christmas Flower, Lobster Flower, Flame-Leaf Flower, Flor De La Noche Buena, Bird-Of-Paradise Flower, Christmas Star, Fire On The Mountain, Fire Plant, Mexican Easter Flower, Mexican Flameleaf, Painted Leaf, Pride Of Barbados, Lobsterplant

Starr 061201-1738 Euphorbia pulcherrima by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate care
Light watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Poinsettia

A photo of Poinsettia
A photo of Poinsettia
A photo of Poinsettia
A photo of Poinsettia
A photo of Poinsettia

Poinsettia Overview

Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree species from the Euphorbiaceae family. Mostly grown as a potted indoor plant, it is especially popular at Christmas time, due to its attractive, bright red leaves. Most of the foliage is made up of dark green leaves measuring between 7-16cm long. Brightly coloured modified leaf structures, termed bracts, are often mistaken for flower petals because of their red colour and arrangement at certain times of the year. Tiny yellow flowers are actually held in the middle of these. Poinsettia can be grown outdoors in frost-free regions and it may reach up to 4m in height. Ingestion may cause discomfort and contact with milky sap may irritate skin and eyes. Best grown in sheltered positions, as any [wind] damage can result in milky sap leaking.

Common problems with Poinsettia

Poinsettia Companion Plants

Plant with other Euphorbias, Dusty Miller and Chrysanthemums.

How to harvest Poinsettia

Generally not harvested.

How to propagate Poinsettia



Seeds in the autumn.


Take basal stem cuttings from late spring-early summer, dip ends in warm water to stop bleeding, root in well-draining seedling mix. Milky sap (latex) will leak from any injury until it has dried and sealed the cut. To prevent any un-slightly drips on lower leaves, hold a small sponge dipped in warm water against the cut until the oozing has stopped.

Special features of Poinsettia

Indoor plant

Excellent indoor plants but need uninterrupted long darkness followed by good light in autumn to produce coloured bracts.

Pot plant

Provide good drainage and airflow, but keep soil moist.

Attractive leaves

Winter colour

Colourful bracts appear in late autumn and winter.

Other uses of Poinsettia

Ornamental, container, greenhouse, indoors.


Poinsettia is grown for the potted plant industry and is widely used as a Christmas decoration.

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