749 Poinsettia’s just arrived at Countryside Gardens! Did you know the truth about this rumor? Claim: Poinsettia plants are poisonous, especially to small children and pets. IT’S NOT TRUE!
Popular misconceptions to the contrary apparently stem from a single, unsubstantiated report in 1919 to the effect that a small child had died after chewing on a poinsettia leaf. A survey of the peer-reviewed medical literature from then until now turns up zero documented cases of human or animal fatalities resulting from the consumption of poinsettia plants. In point of fact, a 1996 study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that out of 22,793 reported cases of poinsettia exposure in children, not only were there no fatalities, but 92.4% of the subjects experienced no toxic effects at all. Analysis: Despite its fatal reputation, the humble Christmas poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is only mildly toxic when ingested, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. At worst, it can cause irritation of the mouth and stomach, and in some cases vomiting.