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A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR THE POINSETTIA PLANT

Subject:

Illinois State Florists' Association

Abstract:

Since 1919, stories unsubstantiated by medical and scientific fact have circulated about the poinsettia at Christmas time, when the plant is at the peak of its popularity. According to one tale, the 2-year-old child of an Army officer stationed in Hawaii died from eating a poinsettia leaf (bract). This unfortunate, unfounded story helped scare people into thinking that the poinsettia is poisonous. It has led to the belief that parts of the plant, if ingested by humans or pets, could be lethal. Poinsettia Exonerated To scientifically resolve the charges against the poinsettia, and to alleviate public fear concerning its alleged toxicity, the floral industry launched an intensive investigation. The SAF, floriculture's national trade association representing 50,000 U.S. industrymen, collaborated with The Ohio State University on a poinsettia research project. The objective was to determine whether there is any foundation to the allegation that the poinsettia (scientific name: Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a poisonous plant.

Source: • Illinois State Florists' Association Bulletin #368

Keywords: poisonous plant alleged toxicity Euphorbia pulcherrima) SAF

Libraries: Floriculture

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