Euphorbia pulcherrima is the scientific name for these plants. the common name derives from the fact that Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, introduced the first specimens to North America (1828).It is a sub-tropical plant, native to Mexico. # The showy coloured parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually leaves. # Poinsettias have also been called the lobster flower and the flame-leaf flower.