It's been almost 200 years since poinsettias were first brought to the US from their native Mexico, where the Aztecs used the leaves to make dye and the sap to treat fevers. American botanist and government representative Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced the scarlet foliage to the U.S. in 1828. Flash forward to the 1960s, when a breeding program resulted in hardier, fuller plants and many variations. The booming poinsettia wholesale trade in the US brings in a whopping $250 million a year. The House of designated December 12 as Poinsettia Day in 2002. Poinsettias are the top-selling potted plant in the US and Canada, brightening holiday tables every December.