Plants – Poinsettia


  • Poinsettias are indigenous to Mexico and Central America and have large red leaves. 
  • Poinsettias are a prevalent plant during the holidays, especially at Christmas. Alternate names for Poinsettias ar:
    • Euphorbia
    • lobster flower
    • flame leaf flower
    • Flower of the Holy Night 
    • flower of Christmas Eve
    • Crown of the Andes
    • Easter flower

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  • Most people grow up believing that Poinsettias are poisons plants most likely due to a false theory of a young child found dead clutching a Poinsettia leaf in her hand back in 1919. A study conducted at Ohio State University has proven that Poinsettias are not poisonous to humans to pets.

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  • Toxicity of poinsettias have been studied using animal models and these studies have revealed little to no toxicity. 
  • one study could not find a lethal dose 50 in rats
  • at the highest dose orally administered, there was no evidence of any symptoms during a 14-day observation. 
  • there was minor skin irritation with repeated dose exposure in rabbits. 



  • Nearly all patients do not require any therapy and can be treated without going to the hospital. 
  • When coming in contact with poinsettia it is not recommended to vomit, decontaminate and the use of dilution. 
  • Supportive care through symptomatic management, such as antiemetics, is the only recommendation. 



    • Mild, itchy rash with contact with the sap of a poinsettia
    • A mild stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea after eating part of a Poinsettia
    • Eye irritation if the sap of a Poinsettia comes in contact with the eye
    • Allergic reaction. more common with people with latex allergy but differs from person to person.




  1. Evens Z., Stellpflug S. (20120. Holiday Plant with Toxic Misconceptions. Regions Hospital Toxicology Education and Clinical Services. Retrieved from:
  2. Jay L. Hoecker, M.D. “Poinsettia Plants: Are They Poisonous?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Oct. 2019,
  3. “Poinsettia Are Toxic To Pets.” Pet Poison Helpline,
  4. “Poison Poinsettias, Are They Toxic? Myth or Fact?” Fresh Flower Delivery,

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