A botanist and a statesman.
Joel Roberts Poinsett was not an ordinary man. This physician and botanist distinguished himself as a statesman. He traveled in Europe and Russia. He was a special agent for the United States to Chile and Argentina. He won a seat in the House of Representatives. Subsequently, he had the honor of being the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico. He was Secretary of War. He was a founding member of the National Institution for the Promotion of Science. Later, his idea of creating a national museum inspired the creation of the Smithsonian Institution. We can say it was an impressive roadmap. South of Mexico City near Taxco Del Alarcon, he discovered a plant, that will make him in the field of botany famous around the world. The Mexicans call this plant "Flor de Noche Buena" or the flower of Christmas Eve. The bracts have something that makes them very attractive. They are a beautiful red. In addition, the plant blooms for the holiday season. Poinsett finding it very interesting sent some cuttings to South Carolina to reproduce them in its personal greenhouse. He gave some specimens to John Bartram of Philadelphia. Bartram in turn gave some plants to his friend Robert Buist who owned a nursery in Pennsylvania. He marketed the plants under the name of Euphorbia pulcherrima. Later, the plant will be known as Poinsettia. It became one of the most popular and best-selling Christmas plants in the world.