Watertown— The holiday countdown is shortening with only five days remaining until Christmas. Around this time of year, festive decorations are a part of the tradition for most folks. What would the holidays be like without the seasonal favorite poinsettia?
According to University of Illinois, there are over 100 colors and varieties of poinsettias, though scarlet is the traditionally favorite this time of year. Approximately, $250 million poinsettias are sold annually within the United States.
ABC50 spoke with Gray’s flower shop, locally in the flower business for 100 years. A fourth generation florist, Scott Gray says that he has sold over 1,000 poinsettias since just after Thanksgiving. According to Gray, poinsettias are a huge hit for most local churches and businesses.
Although the famous plant is a decorative hit around the holidays, it has been rumored that poinsettias are poisonous. For families with children and pets in the home, having a potentially poisonous plant in the home can be alarming. However, according to the University of Illinois, poinsettias are safe:
“Despite rumors to the contrary, poinsettias are not poisonous. A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than a pound-and-a-quarter of poinsettia leaves (500 to 600 leaves) to have any side effects.”
Mr. Gray equally echoed University of Illinois research and stated that, “The Society of American Florists will also say that poinsettias are not poisonous and that it is a myth.” As Christmas draws closer, Gray’s flower shop is nearly sold out of all their poinsettias.
It is recommended by University of Illinois, that small kids or pets do not ingest the leaves because it will cause an upset stomach or vomiting. So, if you do have a poinsettia at home, it is always a good thing to keep the plant out of reach from small children or animals.