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The original item was published from 12/3/2021 2:17:09 PM to 12/6/2021 8:05:07 AM.

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Posted on: December 3, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Poinsett. What’s in a name?

Poinsett statue with inset images of Joel Poinsett and the Poinsettia flower

The Greenville Poinsettia Parade. The Westin Poinsett Hotel. Poinsett Highway. The Poinsettia.

All are the namesake of Joel Roberts Poinsett, an American physician and diplomat. Poinsett was born in Charleston but lived in Greenville and served our country around the globe.

Poinsett was the first U.S. agent in South America, a member of the South Carolina legislature, a Congressman, the first United States Minister to Mexico, a Unionist leader in South, Secretary of War under President Martin Van Buren, and a co-founder of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science and the Useful Arts (a predecessor of the Smithsonian Institution).

While in Mexico, Poinsett, who was an avid amateur botanist, sent cuttings of a plant know as Flor de Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve flower, to Greenville to cultivate in his greenhouses at his summer home there and by 1836 the plant was widely known as the "poinsettia."

We hope you’ll join us for the Poinsettia Parade Saturday, December 4 at 6pm on Main Street.

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