Jamaican Poinsettia

Take a close look – that flower is actually a leaf. Discover this unique plant in the Garden Gallery inside of our ENMAX Conservatory.

A trickster plant

The reddish-pink hues of this plant aren’t actually flowers – they are modified leaves known as bracts. Bracts are commonly associated with a plant’s reproductive structure, just as flowers are, but on a Jamaican poinsettia this is called a cyathium, or false flower. Just like other poinsettias, these maintain an association with Christmas by “flowering” from Christmas to midsummer. 


  • Latin Name: Euphorbia punicea
  • IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (at relatively low risk of extinction)
  • Type: Spurge plant
  • Produces: Bracts and fruit
  • Habitat: Jamaica and other Caribbean islands
  • USDA Climate Zone: 10
  • Size: Up to 10 metres tall

Care & Conservation

How we care for them

At the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, we are bringing together our passion for plants and animals with our dedication to taking and inspiring action to sustain wildlife and wild places.
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facts about our plants

Fun Facts about Jamaican Poinsettias

The plant contains a latex sap that can be irritating to the skin.

Jamaican poinsettia can grow as a bush or as a tree.

This plant is known as an evergreen succulent shrub.

It has a sweet nectar enjoyed by warblers and honeybees.

It has a branching structure.

Jamaican poinsettia can produce balloon-shaped fruit.

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