The plants are not poisonous to humans, however the sap produced by the plant can be irritating to the skin. Tweet. They possess a milky white sap that contains irritating chemicals known as diterpenoid euphorbol esters and saponin-like detergents. Although it may upset their stomach, it is highly unlikely that a poinsettia plant can be deadly to pets. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. The poinsettia is well known for its bright red and green colors. Since then, poinsettia plants have a earned a bad reputation and are considered as extremely poisonous. The myth that poinsettias are poisonous gains momentum around Christmas and other winter holidays, when shops begin to display poinsettias. Like the Christmas myths about Santa Claus, flying reindeer, and a toy workshop in the North Pole, the belief that poinsettias are poisonous is FALSE. For close to 200 years, Americans have also embraced poinsettias as a popular holiday plant. The Aztecs used the poinsettia leaves to dye fabric and the sap for medicinal purposes. What happens if my pet ingests parts of the Poinsettia plant? On the other hand, it is true that eating poinsettias can cause stomach upset and that touching the sap of the plant can result in an itchy rash. Be aware that poinsettias weep a toxic, sticky milky sap when cut or damaged, so smear wounds with white petroleum jelly to stop them ‘bleeding’ to death. The poinsettia plant does produce a white sap that contains a few chemical compounds. Poinsettias … Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses. Poinsettias are not poisonous despite what some people think. No case of poisoning by the plant is recorded. It will likely cause a stomach ache if eaten, potentially with nausea and diarrhea -- and, in some cases, more serious effects. Although many Americans think the poinsettia is a highly toxic houseplant, this is somewhat exaggerated. While the genus (Euphorbia) to which the poinsettia plant belongs does contain some highly toxic plants, the popular poinsettia itself is not toxic. Once the sap is exposed to air, it begins to dry and partially coagulate. 7. For years poinsettias have been considered poisonous. Though they have a bad rap, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. If children and pets eat it, they can develop a mouth rash and stomach upset. The sap can cause a skin rash, too. Luckily, it is very rare for a dog to be very ill from eating Poinsettias. The poinsettia plant does produce a white sap that contains a few chemical compounds. Its sap can cause skin irritation in humans. The poinsettia is among the least toxic species. Sources: During the holidays, Poinsettias are a popular Christmas plant. The irritating sap can cause discomfort in the mouth and continue further down the GI tract. The Poinsettia plant is poisonous if ingested. It all started with a tragedy. The quintessential floral symbol of Christmas across North America, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a tropical shrub native to Mexico, where it is known as the flor de Nochebuena. Fun Facts About Poinsettia Plants. The sap can also irritate a dog’s skin, though the problem is rarely severe. Family: Euphorbiaceae. If the roots sit in water, that will cause root rot. Poinsettias are not poisonous. The milky white sap found in poinsettias contains a chemical called diterpenoid euphorbol esters and saponin-like detergents. Poinsettia season is here and it’s a great […] What happens if my pet ingests parts of the Poinsettia plant? In more recent years, Mexicans have used poinsettias to decorate churches at Christmas. Poinsettias are a mildly toxic plant and should certainly be used with caution, but the dangers are hardly ever serious or fatal. You risk breaking the leaf, bract or stem or rupturing more veins to cause more sap secretions. Historically, poinsettias have received a great deal of negative publicity because of their purported toxicity. Poinsettia plants can be toxic to both dogs and cats, although this toxicity is very mild and self limiting. It eventually ages to sooty black. A study made by the Ohio State University found that a 50 pound child would have to eat over 500 leaves to have any harmful side effects. California is the top producer of Poinsettias in the United States. Even bouquets brought into the hou… Toxic Dose. While the plant isn’t considered toxic, it still shouldn’t be eaten and large amounts may cause stomach upset to dogs and cats, according to the Pet Poison Hotline. Are Poinsettias Poisonous to Adults. Though Arnold later admitted that the story was hearsay and that poinsettias were not proven to be poisonous, the plant was thus thought deadly. This whiteness contrasts with the dark green of leaves, or the various colors of the bracts. The part of the plant that is troublesome to pets is actually not the leaves or the flowers but the sap that comes from broken or damaged stems. Poinsettias can be finicky plants to grow year-round and only “bloom” in the wintertime. While poinsettias are commonly “hyped” as poisonous plants, they rarely are, and the poisoning is greatly exaggerated. The milky sap, or latex, can be readily seen if a poinsettia leaf is broken off. “The milky sap in the leaves can be poisonous if a large amount is ingested,” she said. Poinsettias may be mildly toxic if ingested, and they do come with some health concerns to both humans and pets: they can cause upset tummies, in some cases they can provoke allergic reactions, and the milky sap from broken leaves or stems can cause skin irritation. For pets, the poinsettia sap may cause mild irritation or nausea. During the holidays when they are in full color, it’s best to keep them in semi-cool, humid locations with bright indirect light. This sap is found in the branches and leaves. Some people may be more sensitive than others, and we’ve listed those circumstances below. While poinsettias are commonly hyped as poisonous plants, they rarely are, and the poisoning is greatly exaggerated. Plus poinsettia leaves have an awful taste. Poinsettia is the traditional Christmas flower, loved for its festive red bracts and dark green foliage. Poinsettias are not poisonous, but the sap may cause dermatitis. As the story goes, the death of a toddler is attributed to eating the plant’s leaves. Here at City Floral Garden Center in Denver, CO, we often get this exact question of whether the poinsettia is toxic or not. Individuals are still advised to keep the poinsettia out of the reach of small children and pets. The milky white sap found in poinsettias contains chemicals called diterpenoid euphorbol esters and saponin-like detergents. Poinsettia leaves have a bitter taste, yet your dog, cat, bird, rabbit or iguana might still munch on them, as pets do. 5. Poinsettias are best identified for their bright red, white, or mixed colors and are a holiday staple in many U.S. homes every year. Poinsettia Aren’t Poisonous But Can Make You Sick . Poinsettias are not poisonous. If your potted poinsettia bleeds white sap, it has sustained an injury. What part of the Poinsettia pant is toxic to dogs and cats? Poinsettias are popularly, though incorrectly, said to be toxic to humans and other animals. To replicate their test, a 50-pound child would have to eat 500 leaves. Do you feel better about poinsettias now, knowing they aren’t as poisonous as stated? How Did We Start Believing the Poinsettia is Poisonous. According to the Poison Control Information Center, the average person would have to eat 500 to 700 leaves to have any harmful affect such as serious digestive problems. Are Poinsettias Poisonous? Once in a cool place, it’s best to relocate it to a cool, dark area until spring when it will start a comeback for the holiday season! In 1970 the US Food and Drug Administrationpublishe… According to some researchers, a child will have to eat more than 500 to 600 poinsettia leaves and exceed experimental doses to show any signs of toxicity. Additionally, the milky sap is bitter tasting, so the appeal to eat enough of it to cause illness just isn’t there. In fact, poinsettia sap should be considered an “irritant” rather than poisonous. In fact, members of the Society of American Florist commonly eat poinsettias for the press each year to dispel the rumor. The milky white sap … The toxicity comes from the milky white saps that are found on the plant, known as diterpenoid euphorbol esters. Poinsettia plants are less toxic than once believed. Acalypha reptans, Miniature Firetail (photo htop) on left (or top) is a Euphorbia relative. The Poinsettia plant is poisonous if ingested. 7. It was thought that the leaves, stems and milky sap could cause great harm and even death to anyone who ate them. North Carolina State University; Euphorbia Pulcherrima; Alice B. Russell, et al. The myth that poinsettias are poisonous gains momentum around Christmas and other winter holidays, when shops begin to display poinsettias. Toxic Principles: Irritant sap. Euphorbia pulcherrima, better known as the poinsettia, belongs to the Euphorbiaceae plant family and is typically present during the holiday season.Poinsettia plants can be toxic to both dogs and cats, although this toxicity is very mild and self limiting. This festive plant is not deadly, but some stories just won't go away. They are beautiful and come in a variety of stunning colors and sizes. As new stay at home orders go into effect and physical distancing practices continue, holiday decorations are the perfect way to brighten up your space. The poinsettia's tiny yellow-green flowers are surrounded by large colored bracts. Since then, poinsettia plants have a earned a bad reputation and are considered as extremely poisonous. After a tough year, many people have chosen to embrace the holiday spirit by decorating their homes and businesses earlier than usual. Years ago, researchers at Ohio State University did indeed feed huge quantities of poinsettia parts to rats with no ill effects. For pets, the poinsettia sap may cause mild irritation or nausea. Jacob J. Wright became a full-time writer in 2008, with articles appearing on various websites. Lightly brushing or wrapping a potted poinsettia may still cause tissue damage. It's easy to spot sap oozing from a poinsettia plant because of the watery but white latex composition. Truth or Fiction? This sap can be a skin irritant to some people and often create a rash on the skin. A mild stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea. Unfortunately, over the years, the poinsettia has gotten a bad rap of being poisonous. If this happens, wash the affected area with soap and water. … One potential health problem associated with the poinsettia is dermatitis or an irritation to the skin. For years poinsettias have been considered poisonous. Far more worrisome are the plants listed below! Only on white- or cream-colored bracts would the sap be slightly camouflaged. By The Old House Web. It’s sap can cause skin irritation in humans, sometimes resulting in a mild, itchy rash. Are Poinsettias Poisonous to Cats & Dogs? Poinsettia. The poinsettia is well known for its bright red and green colors. The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) belongs to the genus Euphorbia, well-known for its poisonous plants. Poinsettia season is here and it’s a great […] That sap will cause irritations in your pet’s mouth and throat. Eating poinsettia leaves can cause mild stomach irritation, such as nausea … What part of the Poinsettia pant is toxic to dogs and cats? When these chemicals are ingested, they are irritating to the mouth and stomach. Be aware that poinsettias weep a toxic, sticky milky sap when cut or damaged, so smear wounds with white petroleum jelly to stop them ‘bleeding’ to death. Poinsettias can grow to 12 feet high. This sap can be a skin irritant to some people and often create a rash on the skin. On the other hand, it is true that eating poinsettias can cause stomach upset and that touching the sap of the plant can result in an itchy rash. The milky sap (latex) dripping from cut stems and leaves may irritate the mucous membranes and the eye. Overview Information Poinsettia is a flowering plant. The poinsettia’s main attraction is its red flowers. While poinsettias are not poisonous, we are not recommending you to make yourself a poinsettia salad. Two species of Euphorbia in my yard, cut to show the oozing latex sap that flows through this plant like blood . Plus poinsettia leaves have an awful taste. “The milky sap in the leaves can be poisonous if a large amount is ingested,” she said.