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Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) techniques were used to compare the DNA from leaf tissues of nine commercial poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wild ex Klotzsch) cultivars. Amplification occurred in 57 out of 60 (95%) tested primers. Nine primers that revealed polymorphisms among cultivars were selected for further evaluation. Forty-eight RAPD bands were scored from these primers, and 33 (69%) were polymorphic. All tested cultivars could be discriminated with seven bands generated from primers OPB7 and OPC13. Results of a UPGMA cluster analysis and principal components analysis placed the nine cultivars into two groups: one group consisted of `Jingle Bells', `Supjibi', and `V-17 Angelika', the other of `V-14 Glory', `Red Sails', `Jolly Red', and `Freedom'. `Lilo Red' and `Pink Peppermint' belonged to the latter group, but were relatively distant from other cultivars in that group. These results indicate that RAPDs are efficient for identification of poinsettia cultivars and for determination of the genetic relationships among cultivars.