"Poinsettia", not "Poisonsettia"

I’ve eaten more poinsettias than I care to remember. Why? Well, it’s not because poinsettias are tasty, nor has it anything to do with the poinsettia’s nutritional value.

I eat them to dispel the notion that poinsettias are poisonous. It seems that every year the myth of the poisonous poinsettia shows up in print or online and I feel compelled to eat a few leaves (often on air with radio and TV) to demonstrate that they are safe to display in any interior environment and are not a threat to people nor pets.

Now, it is fair to say that certain people could be allergic to a poinsettia’s latex (the white, gummy stuff in the stems and foliage) so consumption and contact are valid concerns for sensitive individuals. But poinsettia leaves and stems must be broken to release the latex, so the casual encounters between people, pets and poinsettias pose an insignificant risk.

So enjoy your poinsettia and put your mind at ease. But if you are still concerned about the safety of poinsettias remember this: If you can’t get your kids to eat raw broccoli, it’s pretty safe to say that you certainly won’t find them grazing on your poinsettias.

~Jim Hole