-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
When I was telling a female worker from another company that my company gave away poinsettia plants every year as Christmas gifts to a few, randomly selected employees, she told me that poinsettias were poisonous. I had not heard that before and asked some other employees and they said they had heard the same thing.
A common and colorful plant, given as a gift, and poisonous! A tort master’s dream. However, it’s a myth.
The myth stated when a two-year-old child died of poisoning that was incorrectly thought to have been caused by the ingestion of a poinsettia leaf. The poinsettia is a species of the genus Euphorbia. While some Euphorbia species are toxic, poinsettias are not one of them.
The Minnesota Poison Control System points out:
The fact is that they are not poisonous. Nor are they edible and it can be expected that, when eaten in quantity, they may cause stomach upset with possible vomiting. This may happen when an overactive puppy devours an entire plant. In the case of a child who eats a single leaf, no ill effects would be expected.
Fortunately, I didn’t “win” a poinsettia this year or any of the previous years.