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K-State expert says rumors about poinsettias aren’t true

Horticulturalists at Kansas State University say when it comes to poinsettias, some of what you’ve probably heard isn’t true.

A story on the K-State Extension website says a rumor that often surfaces around times when poinsettias are at their prime is that they are poisonous. Although their milky sap may sometimes cause a mild allergic reaction in some people, there has never been a recorded case of poisoning.

K-State horticulture expert Ward Upham says members of the Society of American Florists have sought to dispel the false information by eating poinsettia leaves in front of the press. 

According to the American Medical Association Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, poinsettias do not contain an irritant or toxin; have not been found to produce an effect orally or topically; and have not caused cases of vomiting.

Although he still advises you to NOT eat them, Upham says poinsettias are generally completely safe.

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