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Spring Bloomers That Tell the Tales of Time
Spring Bloomers
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Diana, Princess of Wales Rose 
Fabulous News for Canadian Bulb-Buying Travellers 
Poisonous Poinsettias
Grow An Extra Row 
Partners in Planting
 
All-American Selections 

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BRUCE

ZIMMERMAN

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Fabulous News for Canadian Bulb-Buying Travelers

Just in time for the Fall bulb planting season, the Netherlands Flowerbulb Information Centre (NFIC) and the Netherlands Board of Tourism (NBT) are delighted to announce that as of September 1, 1999, Canadians who buy flower bulbs in Holland to bring home with them, will no longer risk having them confiscated at customs.

Canadian travelers MUST look for, and only buy packages of bulbs which are stickered with an official "Certification of Inspection" issued by the Plant Protection Service of the Netherlands.

This new sticker is now harmonized to cover flower bulb imports into both Canada and the U.S.

Previously, each country had their own sticker, and in places like Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, and the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, it was virtually impossible to find bulbs sanctioned for import into Canada. As a result, for many years, both the NFIC and the NBT have been inundated with calls from disappointed Canadians who had bought bulbs stickered by the U.S. Plant Protection services, thinking that it must mean all of North America, only to have them confiscated at their Canadian port of entry.

Jan Zandboer, director of the NBT in Canada commented, "This new harmonized sticker is truly great news for Canadians, who rank #7 in the world as lovers, importers and planters of Dutch flower bulbs".



Poisonous Poinsettias?
Myth - a false or unsupported belief

How did this myth begin? Supposedly, in 1919 an Army Officer claimed the death of his child was the result of eating a poinsettia bract. Poinsettia Winter Rose This story was later determined to be only a rumour. No other consumer plant has been tested for toxicity as much as the poinsettia plant. All research results have found no toxicity with ingestion of any part of the poinsettia plant. Even so, it is still widely believed that ingestion of any part of the plant is poisonous. Research conducted by Ohio State University has found ingesting large amounts of any part of the plant to be non-toxic.

POISONDEX (resource used by US poison control centres), references that it would take more than 500 leaves to be eaten by a 50 lb child to exceed the experimental doses that found no toxicity. Data collected in 1995 by the American Association of Poison Control Centres 

reported that out of 22,793 cases, no significant toxicity was found with ingestion of the plant.

The American Medical Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants references that ingestion of the poinsettia plant may produce vomiting, but no toxic effects.

Results of a 1995 Society of America Florists poll, conducted by Bruskin/Goldring found of those polled:
45% falsely believed chocolate can cause acne
45% falsely believed sugar can cause diabetes
66% falsely believed ingestion of the poinsettia plant to be toxic.

Ingestion of the plant is not toxic, though may cause some stomach irritation
Spread the word - poinsettias are non-toxic

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