The effects of growth-retarding chemicals on stem anatomy were compared on poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wind. `Annette Hegg Dark Red'). Micrographic examinations revealed that secondary walls of nonsclerotic phloem fiber cells were either completely or greatly reduced by retardant treatment. Wall thickening of phloem fiber cells was eliminated by paclobutrazol foliar sprays at 25 mg·liter-1. Fiber cell development was reduced, but not eliminated, by sprays of chlormequat and ancymidol at standard rates, while the triazole uniconazole at 10 mg·liter-1 permitted only limited fiber wall thickening. Chemical names used: (2-chloroethyl)-trimethyl ammonium chloride (chlormequat); α -cyclopropylα- (4-methoxyphenyl) -5-pyrimidine methanol (ancymidol); (E)-(p -chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl-1-penten-3-ol (uniconazole): and (R*,R*)- β -[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]- α -(1,1-dimethylethyl)- 1 H-1,2,4,triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).