The Q&A Archives: what do some of the common allergen plants look like?

Question: I want to eliminate the most common allengen plants aroun our place. What do they look like?

Answer: Plants producing allergens are not any specific size or shape. The worst allergens are typically weeds, grasses, and certain trees. Because these plants are wind-pollinated, they produce a lot of powdery, easily inhaled pollen that can trigger allergic responses. Insect pollinated plants, such as flowers and vegetables, have pollen that is large and sticky, which generally does not cause as many problems. However, individuals who are repeatedly exposed to these plants may develop allergies.

The most typical allergenic plants include ragweeds, pigweeds, and all grasses. Large shade trees such as oaks, elms, maples, pecans, mulberries, and cottonwoods can also cause problems. Most individuals are allergic to only one or two trees. Because these trees pollinate a few weeks each year, allergic reactions can be avoided by staying indoors. Some individuals may also be allergic to trees in the juniper, cypress, and sequoia families including the Eastern Red Cedar. These trees pollinate in the wintery months of January, February, Early March.

Your local health department may have a list of plants for you to avoid if you suffer from allergies.

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