(credit: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

(credit: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plants sold in the United States during the holiday season. One myth is that the poinsettia plant is poisonous.

Horticulturist Ward Upham said, “The truth is that they are not poisonous, not poisonous. Not, not, not.”

According to Upham, researchers have done a lot of work verifying information on the subject. “They looked at how many leaves that for example a 50 pound child would have to ingest in order to cause any discomfort at all.”

The answer is between 500 to 600 leaves to get anything worse than if they ate the same amount of any other non-poisonous plant.

Experts say the idea that anyone would consume that much is also highly unlikely because the taste of poinsettia leaves is very unpleasant. The bottom line is if a child eats a few leaves they may have a stomachache or throw up, but they won’t die.

The belief that poinsettia leaves are poisonous to animals is also incorrect. The American Veterinary Medicine Association of America (AVMA) doesn’t even include poinsettias on its list of plants that are a threat to animals.

In case you were wondering, poinsettias in the U.S. were named in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant into the country in 1828.

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