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Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222

Winter Plants

Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum): Swallowing too many leaves or berries can cause nausea and vomiting.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima): A mouthful of the plant will only cause some upset stomach, such as nausea or vomiting.  You don’t want to make your holiday table salad out of poinsettia leaves, but a taste amount is not a serious problem.

Holly (Ilex spp):  Keeping in line with the other holiday plants above, this is another one that can cause nausea and vomiting if swallowed.


  • Keep all live plants and plant material high and out of reach of small children
  • Consider using netting to catch falling leaves and berries
  • Be vigilant about cleaning the floors and furniture if parts of the plant do fall
  • Consider using the faux versions of these plants to keep children and pets safe—all the care needed is a once a week dusting and you can just pack them along with your Santa wrapping paper and use them again next year!
  • And if all fails and someone does swallow any of these plants, call the IPC at 800-222-1222 any time of the day or night!