Accessed Oct. 14, 2016. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Poinsettias are popular Christmas plants due to their red and green color. Are Poinsettias Poisonous to Cats & Dogs? Skin contact with the sap of a poinsettia plant can cause a rash. The milky white sap found in poinsettias contains chemicals called diterpenoid euphorbol esters and saponin-like detergents. Poinsettias These beautiful, festive plants can often be seen in supermarkets and garden centres at this time of year. Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Developmental Delays in Children Ages 3-5. Individuals are still advised to keep the poinsettia out of the reach of small children and pets. He was a botanist and physician named Joel Poinsett. All rights reserved. According to Poison Control, the story dates back over 100 years ago, when a child was found next to a wild Poinsettia plant and died. But eating this plant isn't as bad as you might think. This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf. Since poinsettias are so popular, they are often mass-produced at the end of the year. Perhaps the plant was mistaken for a toxic cousin – the genus Euphorbia is notorious for its members’ milky, poisonous sap. For years poinsettias have been considered poisonous. As many have pointed out, it is a myth that poinsettia plants are deadly poisonous if a child or pet eats the leaves (but that does not mean that the leaves should intentionally be eaten, either, since, if eaten in sufficient quantity, they can, in fact, make a human or pet at least mildly sick). Are Poinsettias Poisonous? Natural Medicines. See our safe care and visitor guidelines, plus trusted coronavirus information. Poinsettia leaves have a bitter taste, yet your dog, cat, bird, rabbit or iguana might still munch on them, as pets do. Regarding the toxicity of Euphorbia pulcherrima, one could say, "A new myth has grown up in the process of dispelling an old myth." Christmas poinsettia just happens to be a less potent plant than other family members. All rights reserved. Also, poinsettias are not poisonous, though they may be slightly toxic to pets. Poinsettias, (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are the favorite flowering Christmas time plants to gift and receive.So December is the time of year that more people are wondering: “Are Poinsettias Poisonous?” However, this appears to be a case of guilty by association or misidentification. Poinsettia poisoning in dogs occurs when dogs consume all or part of the poinsettia plant. This content does not have an English version. Is that true?. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Although many Americans think the poinsettia is a highly toxic houseplant, this is somewhat exaggerated. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 22, 2016. Though they have a bad rap, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. No, poinsettias are not poisonous! Toxic Principles: Irritant sap. Are poinsettias poisonous? While the poinsettia is not poisonous, it is not intended for human or animal consumption. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The reason that poinsettias are toxic to dogs is that they contain chemicals and saponins that can cause a reaction in your dog. Are poinsettias poisonous? Perhaps the plant was mistaken for a toxic cousin – the genus Euphorbia is notorious for its members’ milky, poisonous sap. Though they have a bad rap, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. The myth that poinsettias are poisonous gains momentum around Christmas and other winter holidays, when shops begin to display poinsettias. No one is sure how this myth started, although it's often attributed to the 1919 death of a girl whose parents thought she had eaten poinsettia leaves. Is Poinsettia Really Toxic to Cats? Poinsettia 101 with Ciscoe Morris. The poinsettia is a native flower to Mexico and Central America and is a member of the Euphorbia or spurge family. The poisonous part of the plant is the milky white sap found inside leaves and flowers. Poinsettias’ bad rap can be traced back to 1919, when a small child died in Hawaii after allegedly eating the flower. Poinsettia plants are less toxic than once believed. 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. Potentially toxic plant ingestions in children: Clinical manifestations and evaluation. Christmas poinsettia just happens to be a less potent plant than other family members. Other holiday plants are also more dangerous than poinsettias, especially lilies, holly, and mistletoe. Is the Poinsettia Poisonous to Birds? Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. You can have them in your house like any other house plant but just pay attention. Are Poinsettias Poisonous And Dangerous For My Dog To Eat? Latex allergy. New plants indoors and outdoors are tempting for our pets and many will ingest the leaves. A lady wrote in to tell me that her parrot died from eating poinsettia leaves. Evens ZN, et al. The poinsettia is not poisonous to cats or dogs. The poinsettia plant does produce a white sap that contains a few chemical compounds. Poinsettias are popularly, though incorrectly, said to be toxic to humans and other animals. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Despite its fatal reputation, the humble Christmas poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is only mildly toxic when ingested, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Every holiday, parents worry about their little ones eating poinsettia leaves. But as legends often do, the curse of the poinsettia … Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, are very common plants during the winter holiday season. New plants indoors and outdoors are tempting for our pets and many will ingest the leaves. Symptoms of poinsettia exposure may include: Drooling; Lip-smacking; Nausea; Vomiting; How to keep cats safe. Who's right? That's not to say they're harmless. 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. Over the years, people have believed that poinsettias were poisonous. 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