If the word “poinsettia” conjures up one color and one color only – red – you are in for a treat: a whirlwind tour of 35 different poinsettia cultivars, in many different beguiling hues.
Poinsettias, the favorite holiday houseplant, have been bred into a wide selection of cultivars, with over 100 different varieties to choose from.
These cultivars come in many different colors and patterns. And the plants also have differing growth habits: some may appear rounded and compact while others have a more upright appearance.
I’m going to introduce you to a selection of 35 of our favorite poinsettia cultivars and fill you in on some of the defining features of these ornamental holiday houseplants.
Here’s a sneak peek:
35 Favorite Poinsettia Cultivars
- Bicolored and Variegated
- Other Novelty Types
Also known as the Christmas flower or Christmas star, the poinsettia is known for its bright winter color – but did you know that the colorful part of this plant isn’t in its flowers?
What catches your eye are actually modified leaves called bracts. These brightly hued bracts surround the plant’s much smaller flowering parts, which are called cyathia.
The red bracts of a poinsettia around its tiny cyathia.
Plant breeders have taken this species, Euphorbia pulcherrima, and created a gorgeous selection of cultivated poinsettias in various shades of red, pink, white, yellow – and even green.
And some of these are variegated, with marbled, mottled, or speckled patterns. The “jingle” types are also known as “glitter” poinsettias and feature lighter flecks on a solid-colored background – reminiscent of falling snow. “Peppermint” types look as though they have been lightly dusted with a coating of color.
There are also a few other novelty cultivars that hold some surprises – so be sure you read to the end to learn about them!
Whatever color or pattern you fancy, there’s bound to be a cultivar (or three) that will pull at your plant-loving heartstrings.
Ready to jump aboard for your tour de poinsettia? Grab your winter coat and scarf and let’s go!
Red is the classic color this plant is known for. It’s also the plant’s original color that attracted people to start cultivating it as a winter-blooming houseplant.
1. Prestige Maroon
While bright red is the standard for poinsettias, some varieties, such as ‘Prestige Maroon,’ have hues that dip into deeper, darker shades of this traditional holiday color.
‘Prestige Maroon’ is dark red to maroon in color. Bract color can be altered by temperature fluctuations while the plant is growing, so there may be some variation in how these plants look once they arrive on garden center benches.
The bracts of this variety are large and shaped like oak leaves.
‘Prestige Maroon’ is typically available in the middle of the holiday season.
2. Princettia Red
The Princettia® series was developed by plant breeders by crossing E. pulcherrima with its relative, E. cornastra, the dogwood poinsettia.
This interspecies hybridization brings many benefits to this holiday houseplant – plants hold up longer and continue producing new bracts for a longer period of time.
‘Princettia Red’ is red with a hot pink undertone. Its bright colors provide a vibrant contrast against its dark green leaves.
The small flat bracts of ‘Princettia Red’ have thin white margins, which makes each bract stand out individually, outlined in white.
This cultivar has improved heat and cold tolerance, making it a bit less sensitive to its climate than many other poinsettias.
‘Princettia Red’ is available early in the holiday season.
3. Solar Red
If you’ve been waiting for a classic red poinsettia, here it is: ‘Solar Red.’
Mature bracts are a bright scarlet hue, while smaller, younger ones are a darker red.
Bracts are medium sized and flat, with some of them shaped like oak leaves and others having a more rounded shape.
‘Solar Red’ plants have a compact, rounded appearance and are available later in the season.
4. Viking Red
‘Viking Red’ has large, crimson-colored bracts with smooth, rounded margins.
This variety has dark green foliage, is extremely cold tolerant, and is usually available mid-season.
Another classic holiday color for poinsettias is, of course, white.
White poinsettias, though simple, are never dull. They catch the light and brighten up the dark winter months.
And including a white Christmas flower or two along with your red ones creates a nice contrast and completes the traditional holiday color scheme.
5. Classic White
‘Classic White’ is a creamy white to yellowish colored variety.
This plant holds its bracts flat or slightly upright, and beneath its creamy crown, ‘Classic White’ has dark green leaves.
With improved heat tolerance, this variety would be a good selection for those in warmer climates – or those who keep the thermostat turned up high in the winter months.
‘Classic White’ is available in the middle of the holiday season.
6. Freedom White
If you enjoy the creamy tones of white poinsettias but are looking for something a little more distinctive, ‘Freedom White’ is a variety that has extra-large bracts.
In addition to its oversized ivory bracts and dark green leaves, this cultivar also has improved heat tolerance.
‘Freedom White’ can be found early in the holiday season.
7. Princettia Pure White
Unlike the white cultivars mentioned so far which tend toward creamy undertones, ‘Princettia Pure White,’ is, as its name promises, truly white with no hints of cream or yellow.
Like the other members of the Princettia® Series, ‘Princettia Pure White’ is an interspecies hybrid between the dogwood poinsettia and E. pulcherrima.
‘Princettia Pure White’ has green-veined bracts which are smaller and narrower, but also more abundant, than other varieties.
Like the other cultivars in the Princettia® series, this cultivar is known for its improved heat and cold tolerance.
‘Princettia Pure White’ is available early in the season.
8. White Wonder
‘White Wonder’ is a traditional poinsettia variety, colored snowy white with just a hint of cream.
‘White Wonder’ has medium to large sized bracts that appear to form a full canopy over the plant, with the dark green leaves underneath.
This cultivar also handles lower light conditions well, so it may be a good option for you if you live in a location where winters are frequently overcast.
In case you think that pink poinsettias are not for you, make sure you check out the many different shades of this color that can appear on the modified leaves of the Christmas star.
9. Christmas Beauty Nostalgia
‘Christmas Beauty Nostalgia’ is a muted pink color that fades gently to pale green as the bracts mature. The younger bracts have a darker rose hue, and dark pink veins.
This cultivar would fit in perfectly with a vintage-themed decor, as its name suggests.
‘Christmas Beauty Nostalgia’ has a rounded growth habit, mid-sized bracts, and sturdy stems.
It can typically be found mid-season.
10. J’adore Pink
If you want to tell the world “I love pink!” this variety is for you – and its name says just that: ‘J’adore Pink.’
An interspecies hybrid between the dogwood poinsettia and E. pulcherrima, like the cultivars in the Princettia® series, this variety has large centers and numerous cyathia, which makes the clusters of bracts look like large, light pink flowers.
‘J’adore Pink’ has a rounded growth habit and elongated, dark green leaves.
These strong, long-lasting plants are fairly tough and don’t break as easily as some other varieties – and they also have improved heat tolerance.
‘J’adore Pink’ is available mid-season.
11. Luv U Pink
If you have a hankering for pink in more brilliant tones, this variety from the Luv U® series will satisfy your craving.
Like the ‘J’adore Pink’ cultivar and the Princettia® series, ‘Luv U Pink’ is an interspecific cross with E. cornastra parentage, which gives it its small, flat modified leaves.
One of the features of this cultivar is that bract production continues throughout the season, providing lots of color.
‘Luv U Pink’ can be found early in the holiday season.
12. Princettia Dark Pink
‘Princettia Dark Pink’ has a vibrant pink tone but is not quite as bright as ‘Luv U Pink.’
This cultivar is yet another interspecies hybrid, with small bracts that are numerous and keep growing throughout the season, creating a thick canopy of color.
Like the other members of the Princettia® series, this variety has bracts that are faintly outlined in white at the margins.
‘Princettia Dark Pink’ has a mounded shape, and both improved heat and cold tolerance.
This cultivar can be found early in the holiday season.
13. Santa Claus Pink
This jolly plant might have you chuckling when you see its extra-large, bubblegum pink bracts.
With its above-average girth, ‘Santa Claus Pink’ works well when planted in large-sized pots.
14. Visions of Grandeur
Despite its imposing name, this cultivar looks like pure softness.
‘Visions of Grandeur’ has large, slightly ruffled bracts that are pale, creamy yellow to pale pink, with yellow veins.
Bracts can appear either flat or upright above light green leaves.
The plant has a tousled, flouncy look that makes me think of Marilyn Monroe standing in a windblown dress.
‘Visions of Grandeur’ is available mid-season.
Green poinsettias can be used to contrast with those of other colors, or they can stand alone for an understated holiday display.
15. Candy Wintergreen
‘Candy Wintergreen’ will grab your attention with its bright and refreshing lime-green coloring.
It provides stunning contrast when grouped with poinsettias of other colors. Or can be used for a non-traditional nod to the holidays.
‘Candy Wintergreen’ has an upright growth habit and holds its bracts aloft above its dark green foliage.
This cultivar is usually found in a mid-sized pot, and is available mid-season.
16. Green Envy
Are you a fan of green flowers? If so, add ‘Green Envy’ to your “must have” list!
This novelty cultivar is light green or chartreuse in color. Bracts have wavy margins and are held upright, creating a very perky appearance.
‘Green Envy’ is a variety that will be a beautiful compliment to your classic, scarlet colored poinsettias – it works well as an accent color when grouped with other varieties.
A late season variety, ‘Green Envy’ has good heat tolerance.
While the golden tints of these poinsettias create an interesting contrast with other colors, they are both early-season types – ideal for autumn celebrations and to incorporate into your fall decor.
17. Golden Glo
While some poinsettias categorized as white may have a yellowish tint, ‘Golden Glo’ is outright, unabashedly yellow.
It has golden yellow bracts, which become more intense in color as they mature, and dark green foliage.
After you use ‘Golden Glo’ as part of your autumn decor, it will look beautiful paired up with traditional colors as you move into the winter holidays.
It is a compact cultivar which has above average heat tolerance.
18. Gold Rush
Another excellent choice for fall decorating, ‘Gold Rush’ is a deep golden color with hints of pink.
The clusters of flowers in the centers of the bracts are small, calling the viewer’s attention to its colorful modified foliage.
Another benefit to using ‘Gold Rush’ as a fall plant is that it has improved heat tolerance and will cope with warm autumn weather better than some other varieties.
‘Gold Rush’ is typically available from the middle of autumn.
Bicolored and Variegated
Although poinsettias with solid coloring are pretty enough on their own, you may want to expand your holiday houseplant repertoire after you feast your eyes on these variegated novelty cultivars with their intriguing patterns.
19. Christmas Beauty Princess
‘Christmas Beauty Princess’ is a royal knockout.
The bracts of this cultivar are red with rose or white flares in the centers – with the white color becoming more pronounced as the plant matures.
Bracts are medium sized and contrast with lush, dark green foliage.
‘Christmas Beauty Princess’ holds up well in warmer conditions and makes a good choice for those in southern states.
This variety is a late season poinsettia.
20. Cinnamon Star
If warming spices make you feel cozy during the winter months, you might enjoy a visual reminder from ‘Cinnamon Star.’
This cultivar has a golden, peachy hue with darker pink flecks.
This early season poinsettia holds its colorful crown upright above dark green leaves.
21. Ice Punch
Looking for a punch that will knock your socks off without leaving you with a headache later? Try ‘Ice Punch.’
This striking cultivar has ruddy-colored bracts with contrasting white blazes.
The bracts of ‘Ice Punch’ have wavy margins, and its dark green leaves are exceptionally pointed.
And despite its icy name, it holds up well to heat.
‘Ice Punch’ is available early in the holiday season.
22. Jingle Bells
Just like the famous holiday song, ‘Jingle Bells’ is a merry reminder of the Christmas season with its bright colors and whimsical pattern.
This cultivar is bright crimson with white flecks, and the occasional all-white bract.
‘Jingle Bells’ has oak leaf shaped bracts and dark green foliage.
23. Jubilee Jingle Bells
‘Jubilee Jingle Bells’ is bright red with splashes of hot pink.
Like other jingle type poinsettias, the occasional bract with a very large splash of contrasting color will sometimes appear.
‘Jubilee Jingle Bells’ is available early to mid-season.
24. Mars Marble
If you prefer softer tones rather than intense ones, ‘Mars Marble’ might strike your fancy.
‘Mars Marble’ is a cream color, marbled with pale rose.
This poinsettia has an upright growth habit, and dark green foliage.
‘Mars Marble’ is longer lasting than many other varieties, and is available mid-season.
25. Monet Twilight
Why not turn your poinsettia display into an ode to the impressionists?
‘Monet Twilight’ will help you do just that. The creamy colored bracts are flecked with pink, and the color grows into deeper shades of reddish-pink as the plant matures.
Long bracts hang around the large flower clusters with darker hues emerging in younger growth, perhaps reminiscent of the deepening colors of the sky after sunset.
‘Monet Twilight’ is a mid-season cultivar.
26. Peppermint Ruffles
‘Peppermint Ruffles’ is a peppermint type and has bracts with wavy margins which give the plant a ruffled appearance.
This variety is creamy yellow and pale pink, with darker pink flecks, and yellow veins.
‘Peppermint Ruffles,’ which bears some resemblance to ‘Visions of Grandeur,’ is available early in the holiday season.
27. Pink Candy
‘Pink Candy’ is a warm, dark pink sprinkled with even darker pink flecks.
Thie medium sized, slightly elongated bracts start out lighter and gradually darken with age.
‘Pink Candy’ plants have a mounded growth habit and are available mid-season.
28. Premium Picasso
Perhaps the name of this cultivar was inspired by Picasso’s lesser-known Rose Period?
‘Premium Picasso’ is a bicolor variety that looks as though its creamy crown has been dusted with carmine.
Some bracts may be darker or lighter than others, so the color is more varied than uniform.
‘Premium Picasso’ is a sturdy, compact plant that’s available early in the holiday season.
29. Sparkling Punch
This variety is similar to ‘Ice Punch’ but with a rosy crown. Each bract is pink with a cream-colored blaze in its center.
‘Sparkling Punch’ can be found early in the season, and would do nicely for a transitional autumn to winter poinsettia – especially in combination with the autumn hued ‘Gold Rush.’
30. Sonora White Glitter
‘Sonora White Glitter’ is scarlet with white spots and splashes and the occasional all white bract.
Like ‘Jingle Bells,’ this variety has oak leaf shaped leaves.
One way in which ‘Sonora White Glitter’ differentiates itself from ‘Jingle Bells’ is that its green leaves tend to look as though they are intermingled with its colorful crown, for a red, white, and green display.
‘Sonora White Glitter’ is a mid-season variety.
Other Novelty Types
In addition to the breathtaking colors we have seen so far, there are a few other novelty type poinsettias that defy easy classification.
31. Carousel Dark Red
‘Carousel Dark Red’ cuts a very different profile than other poinsettias.
This variety is unique – it has small, dark red bracts that are velvety looking and have extremely wavy margins, giving them a scalloped look.
‘Carousel Dark Red’ has dark green leaves with smooth margins, and is extremely sturdy compared to other varieties.
This novelty variety is an early season poinsettia.
32. Christmas Mouse
‘Christmas Mouse’ is another truly unique poinsettia. Both its leaves and bracts are rounded instead of pointed, and its appearance reminds me of a red primrose.
This new variety gets its name from its mouse-ear shaped leaves. The rounded bracts are held upright, and the plant has a very tidy, mounded appearance.
‘Christmas Mouse’ won the Glazen Tulp (“Glass Tulip”) prize for horticultural innovation in the flowering houseplants category for 2020. The jury report claimed that this variety represents “a true improvement for the poinsettia” for the first time in 35 years.
‘Christmas Mouse’ is available in late November to early December.
33. Ruby Frost
‘Ruby Frost’ is my personal favorite out of this entire selection of varieties. While I love the classic red options as well as all the others that made the list as well, I find this particular cultivar just mesmerizing.
This cultivar is variegated in cream and reddish pink – it looks as though it started off cream and got a thin, uneven wash of ruby colored paint applied to it.
Some may find this mottled effect looks somewhat unfinished but personally, I find it stunning.
The leaf margins of this variety are toothed, and the bracts are oak leaf shaped with ruby colored veins.
‘Ruby Frost’ is available mid-season.
While some poinsettias have variegated bracts, a few have variegated leaves.
‘Tapestry’ is one such variety.
Beneath its cherry-colored crown is a surprising layer of grayish-green leaves with cream-colored margins, reminiscent of variegated holly leaves.
‘Tapestry’ would be gorgeous grouped together with a creamy white cultivar to add a bit of surprise to your holiday decor.
This poinsettia can be found in the mid holiday season.
35. Winter Rose Early Red
Our final selection is ‘Winter Rose Early Red,’ a poinsettia that may fool you into thinking this is another plant entirely.
‘Winter Rose Early Red’ has scarlet colored bracts that curl under to form globe shaped “flower” heads. To some, they look like roses in full bloom.
The dark green leaves of ‘Winter Rose Early Red’ also curl under dramatically, making the silhouette of this plant fairly compact.
This variety has improved heat tolerance, so it’s a good choice for those in southern climates.
As its name suggests, ‘Winter Rose Early Red’ can be found early in the holiday season.
Your Brightest Christmas Star
Now that we have completed our tour of some of the most beautiful poinsettia varieties, you should keep in mind that you may not always have as many options available to you as presented in this article.
However, my hope is that this selection will pique your curiosity and keep you on the lookout for any of the varieties that you find the most compelling.
Along with ‘Ruby Frost,’ my personal favorites from this list are ‘Christmas Beauty Nostalgia,’ ‘Princettia Red’ and ‘Visions of Grandeur.’
Which do you find most enchanting? Do you have any other personal favorites that were left out? Let us know in the comments section below. And feel free to share a picture!
And if you’re interested in learning more about these beautiful holiday houseplants, check out our other poinsettia articles right here:
- How to Grow and Care for Poinsettia Plants
- How to Care for Poinsettia After the Holidays
- Are Poinsettia Plants Poisonous?
- How to Propagate Poinsettia Plants from Cuttings
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About Kristina Hicks-Hamblin
Kristina Hicks-Hamblin lives on a dryland permaculture homestead in the high desert of Utah. Originally from the temperate suburbs of North Carolina, she enjoys discovering ways to meet a climate challenge. She is a Certified Permaculture Designer and a Building Biology Environmental Consultant, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kristina loves the challenges of dryland gardening and teaching others to use climate compatible gardening techniques, and she strives towards creating gardens where there are as many birds and bees as there are edibles. Kristina considers it a point of pride that she spends more money on seeds each year than she does on clothes.