Poinsett was a Master Mason behind the creation of the Republic of Texas and the first republican government in Mexico, yet for Wikipedia he is mostly the man that popularized a Christmas flower.
Joel Roberts Poinsett (March 2, 1779 – December 12, 1851) was an American physician, botanist and statesman. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives, the first United States Minister to Mexico (the United States did not appoint ambassadors until 1896), a U.S.Secretary of War under Martin Van Buren, and a cofounder of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science and the Useful Arts (a predecessor of the Smithsonian Institution), as well as the eponym of Poinsett County, Arkansas; Poinsett Highway, Poinsett Bridge, and Poinsett State Park inSouth Carolina; Lake Poinsett in South Dakota; and the poinsettia, a popular Christmas flower.
He simultaneously served as a special envoy to Mexico from 1822 to 1823 and was appointed the first American minister to Mexico in 1825, and became embroiled in the country’s political turmoil until his recall in 1830. It was during this time that he visited the area of south of Mexico City aroundTaxco del Alarcon, where he found what was later to become known in the United States as the poinsettia; in Mexico it is called "Flor de Noche Buena" (Christmas Eve flower). (The Aztecs referred to the winter-blooming plant as cuetlaxochitl; its Latin name is Euphorbia pulcherrima or "the most beautiful Euphorbia.") Poinsett, an avid amateur botanist, sent samples of the plant home to the States and by 1836 the plant was most widely known as the "poinsettia."
It is unknown when Poinsett became a Master Mason, but it is known that he was a Past Master of Recovery Lodge #31, Greenville, and Solomons Lodge #1, Charleston (Reference: Thompson, Edward N., "Joel Robert Poinsett: The Man Behind the Flower", Short Talk Bulletin, Masonic Service Association of the United States, December 1984).