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Plants of the UNF Campus

Euphorbia pulcherrima - Poinsettia
Family Euphorbiaceae


This is a large genus of plants. About sixteen hundred species of Euphorbia are found around the world. They range from small, soft-stemmed plants to trees. Some of the southern African species grow in dry environments and look very much like cacti. Poinsettia is native to dry areas of Mexico. It is commonly cultivated as a potted plant for Christmas. The poinsettia “flower” is composed of a cluster of small yellow flowers in the middle of large, red, leaf-like structures called bracts. Modern selections may be white, pink, red, yellowish, and a combination of these colors.


See plants at prominent sites and in offices during the winter holiday season.


Herbaceous plant up to ten feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun

Water: responds to irrigation provided it is never soggy, drought tolerant

Soil: well-drained soil, no additional special requirements

Planted in the ground, the poinsettia can reach ten feet in height. It may be pruned until mid-August to control its height. It grows best in a sunny, well-drained location. In north Florida, it needs a site protected from the hard frosts and freezes for flowers to develop. Plants will not flower if they are exposed to artificial lights at night or pruned later than the end of September.