What is the namesake of the Poinsettia?

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MISSOURI — Few plants are as closely associated with the holidays as is the poinsettia, but that hasn’t always been the case.

A man by the name of Joel Poinsett was appointed as the United States Ambassador to Mexico back in 1825 by President Madison. While on his travels to the Southern part of that country, Poinsett first saw the plant that would later bare his name.

He liked it so much that he brought some back to his native South Carolina, where he started growing them in his own hothouse.

He sent them to friends and botanical gardens, that in turn started growing them and selling them to the public. The plant isn’t the only contribution Poinsett made to our country, he also founded the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

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