Monthly Archives: December 2013

Poinsettia Poisoning To Dogs-The Myths And Fears

They will poison your pet friends and sicken your children. Poinsettia poisoning to dogs.  How many times have you heard this; and how many times I have heard Lynn warned about me sniffing them, I can’t count.   How this rumor began, I wonder of maybe some mean rival, but in fact I have read about a case in 1919 involving a child, but you know what?  That is the only single, incident documented and it was never proven that a poinsettia was the villainous cause.   Hmph…so much for that!.

However, for over 100 years the tales of poinsettia poisoning to dogs have wagged around the terrible threats against this beautiful and sniffable plant.  This has been one of those so common myths that even a survey of florists found they thought it to be true! Even my friends at the dog park whisper that I should be careful and not even swish by them; my goodness can you imagine that when the shop is brimming with them!  First let me inform you that the bitter taste and sap of the poinsettia does nothing to entice us for a second helping.  Not palatable to anyone I know.

But can you guess how many leaves me, my friends both human and not would have to eat to become ill?

Poinsettia no danger to puppies

Two of my new friends.. double fun

The Big Poinsettia Dinner

So how much would we have to eat?  Over 500 leaves to get ill.  That equates to 10 to 25 plants depending on the size!  Geez, that is one heck of a feast and feat for something not tasty.   And actually, this can be said of nearly any plant in the shop, with the exception of only a few.   Like pansies…I love pansies they are yummy.

Study on top of test has been performed so, since some of you may doubt a greyhound ‘diva florist’, no matter my  ancestry and learning; I have listed the studies below for you.  So decorate away with these beautiful plants, because me and my friends are a bit more educated than we think you credit us for-a bad taste is a bad taste no matter the creature.

Health centers, veterinary groups, and horticultural organizations surveyed concluded that these pretty plants are not toxic and pose no health threat to children or pets. So, poinsettia poisoning to dogs is really a myth.

Here is the info provided by the Society of American Florists….

>Ohio State University tested various parts of the poinsettia (unfortunately on rats-I protest animal testing but they lived!) and found no toxicity even at large doses.

>The Society of American Florists says no other consumer plant has been tested more than a poinsettia

>The ASPCA Animal Poison Center in Urbana, ILL says it regards poinsettias as having such a  low toxicity that  it doesn’t even recommend decontaminating animals who have eaten them.  There can be gastrointestinal distress but only from eating something alien to our system.

>The AVMA, American Veterinary Medicine Assoc. does not include poinsettias on its list of plants as a threat to animals.

                            As always, be happy and p.s.…bring home a poinsettia.

Hugs & Leans, Willow

Poinsettia Gift And The History of Poinsettias -The Noche Buena

So many ask me about this red plant that now is the largest selling plant by the millions every year. Native to Mexico and Central America, poinsettias, grow wild up to nearly 10 feet blooming in the winter.  The red ‘flowers’ botanically, are really not flowers at all, yet are just red leaves surrounding the yellow centers-the real  flower of the plant. The Aztecs called them Cuetlaxochitle which translates to “flower of leather petals”.  Their legend says the plant came from their captives spilled blood.  Grown for decoration and medicine; the plants latex sap was used for fevers and cloth dye made from the leaves.

Montezuma is said to have adored them and surrounded himself with glorious poinsettia gardens; revering but never touching them. He thought them to be divine gifts from the Gods, as metaphors of beautiful feelings.  How profound; as we are just learning the power of fresh flowers in our daily lives; amazing the ancient ones are so far behind us,yet also so far ahead of us.

 They also carry the Mexican legend of a miraculous bouquet of weeds blossoming into a poinsettia at the hand of a poor child approaching the altar of Jesus at Christmas;  they were since known as “Flower of the Holy Night” la flor de la noche buena.   With the history, the legend, the color, and the National date; it is no wonder they became the gift of our modern day.

Poinsettias Coming To America

In 1851 Congress officially established  December 12 as National Poinsettia Day to honor the passing of Mr. Joel  Poinsett;  yes there really was a Mr. Poinsett born in Charleston, SC in 1779. Oddly, December 12th is also the day of the celebrated plant in Mexico.   Among his many accomplishments were congressman, the 15th Secretary of War, and US Minister to Mexico; but it seemed gardening was his passion and now surprisingly, that which he is known for today .  While in Mexico, visiting a local church on an 1825 Christmas Day, Mr. Poinsett visited a local church nativity scene adorned with them.  Enamored, he brought back a few seedlings for his hothouses on his SC plantation and so it began.

double poinsettias

Beautiful Poinsettias

The Gift and Care

As a holiday symbol, it is the perfect gift to anyone or business.  A good plant will last well into February, and continue on for another season with a little, proper care.   A tall, show plant is perfect as a business gift or home décor piece.  While a bowl or basket of miniature plants suits a table or counter perfectly.  While in bloom, they do not require direct sun, and only ask for a weekly watering.  They are of a tropical mind so a misting is most welcome to their leaves; not required to live; but will be happier

 The Fears According to Willow

Check Willows blog post where she separates the myths & danger rumors to the facts.  Poinsettia fears are just not true and she assures you with her all knowing wisdom and research as only she can.  Smile

Happy Happy and Merry Merry

Lynn