Photo: Poinsettia by maacoEvery year Carnegie-Stout receives a cheerful delivery from Leisure Services: Poinsettias! If you stop by the library this December you'll notice their bright red blooms sharing joy throughout the building.
Today, December 12th, just so happens to be Poinsettia Day, so what better time to share some facts and tips on these seasonal favorites? Well, perhaps December 21st, the date for this year's Poinsettia Bowl, when the TCU Horned Frogs will play football against the Louisianan Tech Bulldogs. Those aren't local teams though, so we'll stick with today.
One of the most common misconceptions is that Poinsettias (Euphorbia Pucherrima) are deadly poisonous. While it is a terrible idea to eat them because their sap can cause irritation of the skin, or vomiting, it's safe to have a poinsettia in a house with pets or small children. You can read more about poinsettia care and their Aztec origins at the University of Illinois Extension's Poinsettia Pages.
If you're concerned about your ability to care for a poinsettia, never fear! Carnegie-Stout has several books with tips on keeping house plants of all types happy and healthy:
The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual (635.9 PLE) Poinsettias on page 98
How to Grow Practically Everything (635 ALL) Poinsettias on page 393
Indoor Plants (635.965 COU) Poinsettias on page 83
And I highly recommend that you name your Poinsettia "Percy," just for luck.