Today is “World Poinsettia Day” named for Dr. Joel Poinsett who introduced this rare tropical Central-American plant to the United States in the early 1800s. Whereas holiday flowers and plants such as this one are seasonal and beautiful, serious danger lurks within. When poinsettias are damaged, a milky-white substance appears that can cause skin irritation and internal distress. Many other holiday favorites are dangerous, too — holly mistletoe and the Christmas rose, among them. They’re poisonous, as are poinsettias. Thus, as pretty as they may be, they need special care and should be kept away from small children and pets. After handling these plants, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent ingesting any toxic poisons or contaminating food, clothes or other surfaces.