The Poor, Maligned Poinsettia

"Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart." ~ Washington Irving

There are many things that are true about the poinsettia.

  • It’s a native of Mexico – True
  • In nature, poinsettia are perennial flowering shrubs that can grow up to ten feet tall – True
  • The showy, colored parts of poinsettia, which most people think are the flowers, are actually colored bracts or modified leaves – True
  • The actual flowers, or cyathia, of the poinsettia are in the center of the colorful bracts – True

There is one common belief, however, that is not true.  Despite the urban legend that the poinsettia is toxic, this is absolutely FALSE.


Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

For more information, please visit the University of Missouri Extension webpage.

Leave a Reply