Poinsettia

What is it?
Symptoms
First Aid
Safety Tips
 
A picture of poinsettias
Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) by Krista Kennedy, Creative Commons

What is a poinsettia?

The poinsettia is a decorative plant, often used around Christmas. The plant’s leaves are green and its flowers are most often red, but they can also be pink, cream, white, pale green or orange.

Many people think poinsettia plants are poisonous, but poinsettias are not really harmful.

What happens if someone swallows a piece of poinsettia?

Eating a small piece of a poinsettia will not cause any symptoms. The biggest risk is that a young child could choke on it.

If a person or animal eats a large amount of poinsettia, such as an entire plant, it can irritate their stomach and possibly make them throw up.

In addition, people with sensitive skin may get a rash from touching a poinsettia plant.

What can you do if someone has swallowed a piece of poinsettia?

If someone has eaten part of a poinsettia plant:

  • Take all the pieces out of their mouth.
  • Give them a few sips of water or milk.


What can you do if someone has a rash from touching a poinsettia plant?

If someone has a rash, wash the irritated skin with soap and water.


What can you do if you have questions?

If you are worried or have questions about poinsettias, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

You do not need to call 911 swallowing or touching a poinsettia plant.

How can I prevent plant poisonings?

  • Know what plants are in your home or yard and find out if they are poisonous.
    • You can take a piece of a plant to a local greenhouse, garden center, nursery or agricultural extension office to have it identified.
    • Once you know what plants you have, contact the poison center to find out if they are poisonous. Call 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.
  • Avoid having poisonous plants in your home if you have young children or pets, or keep the plants up high out of reach. Remove poisonous plants from your yard.

Last Updated: Tuesday February 16th 2016