Interesting Facts About Poinsettias
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2013
Ill. – No flower says
Christmas like the beautiful poinsettia.
a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, offers a few facts
about this traditional Christmas plant.
are part of the
Euphorbiaceae or Spurge family. Botanically, the plant is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima.
in the Euphorbiaceae
family ooze a milky sap. Some people with latex allergies have had a skin
reaction (most likely to the sap) after touching the leaves. For pets, the
poinsettia sap may cause mild irritation or nausea.
probably best to keep pets away from the plant, especially puppies and
kittens," Wolford said.
horticulture educator explained that poinsettias are not actually poisonous. "A
study at The Ohio State University showed that a 50-pound child would have to
eat more than 500 leaves to have any harmful effect. Plus poinsettia leaves
have an awful taste. You might want to keep your pets from snacking on
poinsettia leaves. Eating the leaves can cause vomiting and diarrhea," he said.
colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are
actually colored bracts (modified leaves). Poinsettias have also been called
the lobster flower and the flame-leaf flower, due to the red color.
Poinsett introduced the poinsettia plant to the United States from Mexico.
Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States ambassador to
Mexico. "In Mexico, the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10 to 15
feet tall," Wolford noted.
than 100 varieties available today, poinsettias come in colors like the
traditional red, white, pink, burgundy, marbled, and speckled. The Paul Ecke
Ranch in California grows over 70 percent of all poinsettias purchased in the
United States and accounts for about 50 percent of the worldwide sales of
is National Poinsettia Day, which marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in
information about poinsettias, visit the U of I Extension website "Poinsettia
Pages" at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/poinsettia/.
Source: Ron Wolford, Extension Educator, Horticulture, firstname.lastname@example.org