The Holiday Season is upon us, full of traditions and rich in history, including our plant of the week, "Flores de Noche Buena", or commonly known as the Poinsettia.
This large growing perennial flowering shrub is native to
Poinsettias are a day light sensitive plant, meaning that as the days get shorter, their foliage reacts by turning colors. These are called bracts. The actual flower of the poinsettia is in the center of the colorful bracts.Through the years, plant breeders have taken the traditional red poinsettia, and have developed many different colors to chose, including so many different shades of pinks and reds, marbled, spotted, plum, white, which by the way, through all the plant breeding, there are still no perfect white poinsettias (they're actually an off white or cream color) but getting very close. By the way, with a little trickery, we can now provide poinsettias in just about any color you could imagine. Just ask our poinsettia pros at the garden store how we do it!
Are they poisonous?
Like we said earlier, it's simply not true, according to research done at The Ohio State University. As a matter of fact, at one time in history, the milky sap was used in a preparation to help treat high fevers. Yes, the milky sap could cause minor skin irritation, and a very high consumption of these bitter tasting leaves could cause sore throats, and upset stomachs, but that's it. And again, they are very bitter in taste, and it would take a lot of leaf eating to cause any 'minor' problems.