21 Aug 2014
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Poinsettia Myths Dispelled by Garden Center Owner

A variety of Christmas plants can spruce up the holiday season, owner says.

Poinsettia Myths Dispelled by Garden Center Owner Poinsettia Myths Dispelled by Garden Center Owner Poinsettia Myths Dispelled by Garden Center Owner Poinsettia Myths Dispelled by Garden Center Owner

Eating a poinsettia may make a person, or pet, sick to their stomach, but would not have a fatal effect.

A person would have to eat approximately 500 pounds of poinsettia leaves to even possibly be morbidly ill from the plant, according to Glenwild Garden Center Owner Jodie Bross. Bross said the plant's rumored deadly effect when consumed is a common Christmas time myth, when the plant's popularity is seen. 

Even though Bross said the plant is "not dangerous" to eat, she does not advise people taste the bright red leaves.

"It's not going to taste good," she said.

Glenwild Garden Center sells a variety of poinsettia plants, and they do not just come in red. In fact, Bross said another misconception about the holiday plant is that the red hue most people associate with the plant is from a flower.

"It's not the flower that's colored red," she said.

In reality, the red is on the leaves while the flower of the plant is a small cluster of yellow in the center.

The poinsettia, discovered in Mexico, Bross said, also comes in different forms. Bross said the Rose poinsettia has more shrunken leaves to form an almost rosebud-look. There are other kinds of the plant that have white and speckled leaves.

The poinsettia is just one of a few plants associated with Christmas. The largest and most common is the traditional Christmas tree. While the trees come in a variety of forms as well, Bross said the most popular kinds are the Frasier Fir, Balsam Fir and Douglas Fir.

"The Balsam is the traditional tree that has a smell people associate with Christmas," Bross said.

Bross said the Balsam also has the strongest needle which could hold ornaments better than other types of trees. Both the Balsam and Frasier have a unique color.

"The Frasier and Balsam have kind of a silvery back to the needles," Bross said.

Caring for a Christmas tree is somewhat universal. Trees need to be checked for water once they are in a stand at home every day. If the tree is not watered, the needles will begin to fall off the tree.

Not much care is needed for a Christmas wreath, Bross said, although preserving sprays could be used to maintain the wreath's scent and needles. Where a wreath is placed could also affect how long it lasts.

"It's better outside. It will last much longer," Bross said.

What kind of Christmas tree do you have at home? Tell us in the comments.

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