The poinsettia is named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, a politician and statesman of the first half of the 19th century. He was a member of Congress from 1821 -1825, minister (the first) to Mexico between 1825-1830, and secretary of war from 1837-1841. He also was an amateur botanist. Although there is more than one story as to how the poinsettia came to popularity in this country--because Poinsett developed it or merely discovered it--there is no question that it is named for him. The flower has prospered in the United States because of the work of Albert and Paul Ecke, father and son.