The winter flowering shrub Poinsettia is now seldom grown which is a pity because it is a reliable drought hardy shrub which only requires a late spring prune to keep it manageable .The cream flowering form is also seen in some old gardens. If you see one ,ask for a cutting, as it strikes readily from a 30 cm piece placed directly in the ground.
The dwarf cultivars of Poinsettia are now grown for use as a Christmas office and home decoration plant .This is an American tradition which we have adopted. (Poinsettias are stimulated to flower by the short day length of winter.) That said, the Paul Ecke varieties from California are truly magnificent ...my favourite is one with green and gold leaves with maroon flowers, just a shame they are not grown here during our winter.
2017 update: I have found it quite hard to grow to a good size in a pot and in the garden it just sulks and refuses to grow. Recently dismayed to see a mature cream flowered in a local garden removed removed and replaced with some nondescript shrub.