EPA Says Poinsettias Are Poisonous

Despite scientific proof that poinsettias are nontoxic, misinformation has a way of spreading like a weed around the holidays. When that myth crept into an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blog recently, a Society of American Florists (SAF) member quickly responded to set the blogger and the record straight.

“Poinsettias are not poisonous. Please check your facts before publishing such a post,” wrote Steven Newman, Colorado State horticulture professor, in response to an article titled “Be Careful With That Green Thumb.”

Jennifer Sparks, SAF’s vice president of marketing, also reached out to the agency. In an e-mail to Peter Grevatt, director of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection, she wrote: “The poinsettia is the most widely tested consumer plant on the market today, proving the myth to be false.” Sparks also cited some of the research supporting its safety.

Grevatt apologized “for the misinformation” about the popular holiday plant. “We have flagged the reference to poinsettias on the blog posting and referred readers to the comments pointing out our error,” he wrote in an e-mail. “I hope this addresses your concerns.”

For more information on SAF, visit its website at SAFNow.org.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “EPA Says Poinsettias Are Poisonous

  1. The EPA is hazardous to your health in many respects.

    The EPA has succeeded in having CO2 classified as being hazardous to society. Do any growers usse CO2 anymore for growth enhancement like was used in earlier decades for carnation growth?

    Do any of you use CO2 emitting coal or oil, or gas burning methods of heating your facilities.? You are now classified as contributing to Global Warming per Al Gore etc, so watch out for the regulations and controls to fly. You may also be expected to pay Cap and Trade fees for the travesty of producing CO2.

    Think this is a joke?? Please read up and do not be caught off guard. Clamp down on your local Congressmen and Senators to keep this bureaucracy in check before it is too late for business in North America.

    The above retraction and correction is one of the few ever made by the EPA. They generally appear to be above reproach or correction. Well done Jennifer Sparks, and Steven Newman.

  2. The EPA is hazardous to your health in many respects.

    The EPA has succeeded in having CO2 classified as being hazardous to society. Do any growers usse CO2 anymore for growth enhancement like was used in earlier decades for carnation growth?

    Do any of you use CO2 emitting coal or oil, or gas burning methods of heating your facilities.? You are now classified as contributing to Global Warming per Al Gore etc, so watch out for the regulations and controls to fly. You may also be expected to pay Cap and Trade fees for the travesty of producing CO2.

    Think this is a joke?? Please read up and do not be caught off guard. Clamp down on your local Congressmen and Senators to keep this bureaucracy in check before it is too late for business in North America.

    The above retraction and correction is one of the few ever made by the EPA. They generally appear to be above reproach or correction. Well done Jennifer Sparks, and Steven Newman.

More From Blooming Potted Plants...
Rose Rosette on Knockout rose, May 2013. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 2, 2015

Rose Rosette Disease Fight Gets A Boost From Government-Backed Funding

In 2014, $4.6 million was awarded through the Farm Bill to tackle rose rosette disease, a devastating pathogen that affects one of the industry’s most important crops.

Read More
Fig 1 Leafy Gall On Leucanthemum Becky

March 2, 2015

How To Prevent Leafy Gall Before You Lose Plants

Leafy gall is a nasty disease that can go undetected until plant damage is done. Take these steps to protect your crops from infection.

Read More
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The Gaillardia

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 17, 2015

Poinsettias Had Their Best Year In Many In 2014

Poinsettia growers report a strong year in 2014, thanks to a few conditions. Growers were encouraged by high plant quality, enthusiastic shoppers and a stronger, less saturated market for poinsettias throughout the selling season. Seasonal cold at just the right time put consumers in a festive mood to buy early and often, and with no big snowstorms to hold up shipments and a reduction of supply available in the market, the season was strong from start to finish.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Holiday Plant Trends And New Varieties

Growers had mixed feelings about the 2014 poinsettia season according to Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Poinsettia Survey. Read about their plans for 2015 and stay up to date on 14 of the newest cyclamen and poinsettia varieties on the market.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Charon Red'

January 6, 2015

Dan Schantz Farm 2014 Poinsettia Trial Recap And 2015 D…

The 2014 Dan Schantz Poinsettia trials featured more than 170 poinsettia varieties. Here's a summary of the event, as well as a 2015 date for your calendar.

Read More

December 29, 2014

Suntory Makes Spirits Bright With Princettia Displays

Suntory Flowers started to introduce its varieties to sister company Beam Suntory by collaborating on a holiday interiorscape featuring Princettia at Beam Suntory's offices in Deerfield, Ill., near Chicago.

Read More

November 25, 2014

Poinsettia Sales Kick In For 2014

Poinsettias are showing up in big box store ads, as well as at independent retail stores. Here's a look at how prices are shaping up for 2014.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University of Florida Poinsettia Trials Will Be Held De…

Poinsettia trials event at the University of Florida will be held on December 9 in Gainesville, Fla.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University Of New Hampshire Hosts 2014 Poinsettia Trial…

The University of New Hampshire will host 2014 Poinsettia Field Trial Open House at its Macfarlane Greenhouses facility on December 4 to 6.

Read More

September 9, 2014

16 Flowering Potted Plants For Every Occasion [Slidesho…

Flowering potted plants are no longer just traditional annual varieties that one buys at the grocery store for a gift. Check out 16 of the newest varieties to hit the market.

Read More

August 12, 2014

Suntory Flowers Partners With Dümmen Group For New Prin…

Suntory Flowers announces the formation of a new rooting network for Princettia euphorbias. Growers now have a choice of what inputs they would like to receive.

Read More

June 26, 2014

California Spring Trials: 20 Potted Plants For 2015 [Sl…

With plants for every use from decorating the kitchen table to gifts to patio containers, breeders are honing in on consumer demand for more variety in potted plant options. Here are 20 new varieties to integrate into your crop mix.  

Read More

March 12, 2014

2013 Poinsettia Cultivar Evaluation From The Ohio State…

The Ohio State University and AmericanHort collaborates on a poinsettia rating project that aims to inform growers about the differences between consumer and grower preferences on new poinsettia cultivars.

Read More

February 4, 2014

11 Pretty New Poinsettias [Slideshow]

Poinsettias are the signature plant of the holiday season. Here are new varieties to consider adding to your crop selection for premium holiday crop sales.      

Read More
Chrysanthemum 'Hilo Tangerine' from Syngenta/Yoder

September 25, 2013

6 New Chrysanthemums For 2013

Here are six new chrysanthemums varieties to brighten up your fall sales.  

Read More

August 9, 2013

Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part Three

Gerbera ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ (from Syngenta Flowers)Cartwheel gerbera have large, semi-double flowers that add a sense of novelty and value. The new ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ comes in shades ranging from buttery yellow with a hint of pink to a deep strawberry with a hint of yellow. These bold colors will capture immediate attention at retail.      

Read More

August 9, 2013

Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part Two

1-2 Punch Poinsettia Combo (from Ecke)This show-stopper is a great way to offer customers something different utilizing well known, easy-to-grow varieties. 1-2 Punch is a combination of ‘Ice Punch’ and ‘Sparkling Punch’ using two plants of each variety in an 8-inch container.  

Read More

August 7, 2013

7 Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part One

Gloxinia ‘Avanti Blue’ (from Sakata)A long-lasting pot plant with impressive bell-shaped, velvety flowers, ‘Avanti Blue’s’ small leaves nicely offset the striking blooms.

Read More

May 7, 2013

Making The Old New Again: Getting Creative With Chrysan…

Some categories of plants have been around for a really long time. So long, in fact, that they can become associated with phrases like “old-fashioned,” or “out of date.” That doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent plants — that’s probably one of the reasons they’ve been around so long. But consumers like to buy things that are new, different and trendy. So how do you make something that people take for granted new and interesting again? Sometimes it is with new genetics. And sometimes it is through marketing — creating a story around the plant and a reason to buy it. We talked to Liz Hunt, senior market manager, vegetative, for Syngenta Flowers, about its new Zenia mum collection, which uses both breeding and marketing to revitalize the category. GG: Do you see working with growers and retailers to re-package older categories as a growing trend in the industry? Hunt: Syngenta […]

Read More

April 9, 2013

Fides Oro Cancels Fall Mums Shipments

Fides has cancelled all of its U.S. fall mums shipments after it discovered the plants had been infected with agrobacterium, says Mark Schermer, general manager at Fides Oro. The company is still in the build-up phase of its North American mum program and 2013 is its second year. It has developed mums in Europe since 1967. “We found the infection last month and assessed that it was too big a risk,” Schermer says. “We did not want to put our customers at risk. [Cancelling the shipments] was the responsible thing to do.” No other Fides Oro stock is infected. “We established agrobacterium is not something we have in our elite stock,” Schermer says. It’s not currently known how the plants were infected, since the pathogen can be transmitted in multiple ways. Fides Oro will keep mums as part of its lineup, despite this year’s set back. “Everything will be in […]

Read More