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Kerry Michaels

Poinsettia Poison Myth Debunked

By December 11, 2012

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container gardening picture of poinsettia in a coffee mug
Poinsettia in a Coffee Mug
Photo Kerry Michaels

I was never a huge fan of poinsettias until I saw them growing in East Africa - as big as trees. Now I love them - small, big, white, pink, red or variegated. This year I'm giving small poinsettias in coffee mugs as gifts.

Apparently poinsettias have the reputation of being poisonous. According to this article on the Fine Gardening website, poinsettias, while potentially causing irritation if ingested by pets, are not poisonous to humans. According to the article, a study determined that if a 50 lb. child ate 500 poinsettia leaves, they would experience nothing more than some indigestion.

I would be amazed if a child of that size could eat 500 leaves of anything - including spinach - without getting a stomach ache.


December 23, 2009 at 7:32 am
(1) Susan Adcox says:

I love poinsettias. My favorite is the Ice Punch variegated.

December 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm
(2) Starrpoint says:

Like you I never cared for the plants until I saw them growing as they were meant to.

It was on a trip to Hawaii, and we were on the island of Kaui. there was a house built of native lava, the dark brown kind, and over it was this, overwhelming bloom of poinsettias. Then I could appreciate them.

That is what I think of when I see them in stores now.

December 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm
(3) Kimmie says:

Love the great idea, as well as the cute coffee mug! Looking forward to more of your creative ideas in 2010.

January 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm
(4) Simon Altes says:

i think that same happens with tomatoes 200 years ago, and now is one of the greatest agribussines worldwide.

January 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm
(5) David Beaulieu says:


That’s correct. When Europeans first encountered tomatoes in the New World, they were suspicious of them because they recognized them as members of the Nightshade family.

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