Myths and rumors about the toxicity of the Poinsettia plant are common this time of year, when the popular red-leaved plants take center stage in holiday decorations. While the genus (Euphorbia), to which the Poinsettia plant belongs to, does contain some highly toxic plants, the popular Poinsettia itself is not toxic. Some sources attribute the rumor about the dangers of poinsettia leaves to a case of poisoning in 1919 that led to the death of a two year-old child. At the time, the cause of the poisoning was incorrectly determined to be a Poinsettia leaf.
Even though accidental ingestion of Poinsettia leaves will not damage your body or kill you, it may lead to nausea and vomiting in some cases. Since the taste of Poinsettia leaves is reportedly very unpleasant, it is unlikely that a child or animal who attempts to eat or chew the leaves will continue to do so after the first taste. While ingestion of house plants is never a good idea (some popular plants can be extremely dangerous when eaten) parents of young children can be assured that the poinsettia plant is not a dangerous risk in the home.