Living plants can make beautiful additions to cupcakes any time of the year, but if you’re doing baking for the winter holidays, there are some plants that you definitely don’t want to use as living garnishes. Here are five living plants to keep confined to a pot and away from your treats:
1. Mistletoe – Mistletoe might be great for inspiring a holiday kiss but you definitely don’t want to put your lips on it! The berries, leaves and stems of mistletoe are all highly toxic and can cause sudden death if ingested.
2. Holly – Mildly toxic, holly berries aren’t know to cause symptoms when you consume just one or two, but it’s still not wise to use them as cupcake decorations.
3. Poinsettia – While not known to cause death when ingested by humans, poinsettia flowers will cause very unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects if eaten.
4. Pine branches – A sprig of pine might look very beautiful on a cupcake, but like poinsettia, it can cause stomach problems. Rosemary can make a good substitute as it has needle-like leaves.
5. Amaryllis – The bright red flower is often used for decorating around the holidays, but you don’t want to place one on a cupcake. The flower can cause everything from heart arrhythmia to seizures.