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BRIEF: Is the Poinsettia poisonous?


QUESTION:
I have two cats so I am very cautious as to what plants I bring into my home. I did not see Poinsettia on the list of poisonous plants--I have heard that it is poisonous. Is this a rumor?

ANSWER:

Poinsettia's have a sap that some find irritating, but it otherwise, it is a pretty non-toxic plant. I guess if your cat had a specific allergy to it, that would be a problem. Several researchers have forcefed rats with this plant and found no harmful effects. Some species gain weight on it. I wouldn't eat it, but as houseplants go, it is pretty safe.