MALP Educational Meeting—Free to the public
Topic: Poinsettias with Ann Emmsley
Date: Tuesday November 27, 2012
Place:: Maui Community Service Bldg next to CTHAR Extension Services (Map) on the UH Maui campus.
Time: Pupus will be served at 6:30 pm and the talk will begin at 7:00.
Poinsettias have become a festive symbol for the holidays as a table centerpiece, a hostess gift, or, in tropical climates like Hawaii, a landscape statement. Ann will cover the history of poinsettias from their discovery to the traits of modern poinsettias. She will discuss the tried and true varieties and explore the array of new cultivars becoming available. Growing tips will be offered for all settings from potted plants to landscape use. She will give tips on the best methods for propagation, fertilization, irrigation, pruning, pest control and growth regulation.
Ann Emmsley has been working at the University of Hawaii, Maui College since 1988. She is currently a Professor and Program Coordinator for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program. She teaches a variety of courses including landscaping, horticulture, crop production, pest management, and irrigation. Ann has been growing poinsettias for the annual poinsettia sale at the Maui campus for over 15 years.
There will be a raffle for several poinsettia plants at the end of the meeting. Each attendee will receive one free ticket. Additional tickets may be purchased for $1 each.
a post from Jessica Story, Meadowbrook Farm
Poinsettias are NOT poisonous, they are the most studied decorative plant ever and no toxic effects have been found. In 1919 a 2 year old child of an army officer was found dead under a Poinsettia tree in Hawaii with poinsettia leaves in her hand. The investigation cleared the plant, but the record was never set straight and it has become an urban legend.
In nearly 23,000 recorded cases of Poinsettia ingestion, no life-threatening effect has ever been reported. The equivalent of a child eating over 600 leaves was tested and found to have little or no effect. Vomiting and diarrhea, while unpleasant, is the most likely result for a child or animal that did consume the leaves.
Interesting note-the Poinsettia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society have a long history together-the first public introduction of the plant was at the first Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Flower Show in 1829)
Like a number of common houseplants, many common holiday plants are mildly toxic, but are so foul-tasting that ingesting enough to cause harm would be difficult. Holly and Mistletoe probably pose the most risk, because the berries can be swallowed whole. Jerusalem Cherry is extremely toxic and should be avoided in households with young children. Ornamental peppers may cause discomfort like any other hot pepper, but are not toxic.
Other common “toxic” holiday plants (safe to use, just use common sense too!)
Yew, as cut greens
Juniper berries on cut greens
Have you ever had a problem with children or pets eating any of these holiday plants?
Poinsettias can transition from Christmas into New Year’s decorations with some additional flair. Get dried, curly ting ting plant branches from a florist or craft supply shop, and place the stems into the pot and among the poinsettia foliage.
Ting ting comes in silver, gold, red, green and natural colors. Floral supply shops also carry spray glitter that is safe for plants. Simply changing the container or decorative wrap will also freshen up the plants to carry into next year.
Poinsettias are native to Central America and tropical Mexico. A botanist and diplomat named Joel Robert Poinsett, who served as a U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 1825 to 1829, is credited with making this plant known throughout the world.
Poinsettias of today look much different from those found growing in the tropics. Short, bushy types have been developed for indoor holiday decoration. Intensive hybridization has resulted in beautiful new colors, including cream, yellow, peach, pink, improved reds and marbled and speckled bracts. The modern hybrids also hold their color for many weeks, lasting through the holidays and into the new year.
The brilliant color of the poinsettia does not come from the flowers, but rather the bracts. Bracts, often mistaken for flower petals, are actually modified leaves. The true flowers are small, yellow buttons, called cyathia, in the center of the colorful bracts. In November and December, when the days grow shorter, the colorful bracts begin to form.
When I lived in Hawaii one of my favorite trees was the chaconia or Wild poinsettia, Warszewiczia coccinea. I have been trying to locate this tree on the mainland and am not having a very easy time. Does anyone know of, or have one themselves, that I could purchase?
RE: Chaconia/Wild Poinsettia,
* Posted by trini1 FL10 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 20, 07 at 20:22
There is currently on on ebay………
RE: Chaconia/Wild Poinsettia,
* Posted by koicool1 7a (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 7, 08 at 18:19
I have only ever seen poinsettias near christmas time. I live in the north where they aren’t landscape plants though so maybe you could find them at a local nursery.