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What Plants Cause The Most Allergies

Effective Treatments Are Available

Plants that cause allergies |Trisha Shirey |Central Texas Gardener

Seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor about medications that will relieve your symptoms. Although medications do not cure allergies, they are much more effective with few side effects. It is important to use them correctly, and to avoid medications that can cause problems such as frequent decongestant nose sprays or tablets.

Antihistamine tablets or syrups help to reduce symptoms , but they are not as effective in controlling severe nasal blockage and dribble. The advantage of antihistamines is their flexibility you can take them when you have symptoms, and avoid them when you are well. Antihistamine eye drops can also be helpful in controlling watery eyes due to allergies.

Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays have a potent action on inflammation when used regularly . These need to be used regularly and with careful attention to the way in which they are used. Different brands of INCS vary in strength and effectiveness, so it is important to read the labels and check details with your pharmacist or doctor.

Combination medications containing an antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid nasal spray are available and offer the combined advantages of both medications.

unblock and dry the nose, but should not be used for more than a few days as they can cause long term problems in the nose

Natural products such as salt water nasal sprays or douches can be effective in relieving symptoms.

What Causes Seasonal Allergies

The biggest seasonal allergy trigger is pollen. March and April are the months when tree pollen begins to take off in the United States. Your immune system mistakes the pollen entering your nose as a danger, which causes the release of natural histamines, triggering the symptoms that allergy sufferers know all too well: sneezing, itchy eyes, coughs, and runny nose.

Worst Plants For Allergies

You can expect more plant pollen and seasonal allergies if you put any of these plants in your yard.


Amaranth , chamomile, chrysanthemums, daisies, ordinary sunflowers.


Cypress, jasmine vine, juniper, wisteria.


Alder, ash , aspen , beech, birch, box elder , cedar , cottonwood , elm, hickory, red and silver maples , mulberry , oak, olive, palm , pecan, pine, poplar , sycamore, walnut, willow .


Bermuda, fescue, Johnson, June, orchard, perennial rye, redtop, salt grass, sweet vernal, timothy.


Cocklebur, ragweed, Russian thistle, sagebrush.

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Best And Worst Plants For Respiratory Allergies

Do you have respiratory allergies but yearn to garden? Knowing which plants are likely to give you the least or most trouble is the first step toward symptom-free yardwork.


It happens every spring, summer, and fall: Plants and trees release pollen to fertilize their species, and people with respiratory allergies begin to experience symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

The lightweight, miniscule, dry grains of pollen are easily carried by the wind, so if youre one of the approximately 50 million Americans who have nasal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , you dont want to be downwind of pollen. When pollen gets into your mucous membranes, it triggers an allergic reaction, says David R. Stukus, MD, a member of the AAFAs board of directors and an associate professor in the pediatrics section of allergy/immunology at Nationwides Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Most of the pollen that causes allergy symptoms comes from trees, weeds, and grasses, Stukus says. Trees, which release pollen in the spring, “often cause the most severe symptoms because theyre the first exposure of the growing season after a long winter of reduced allergy symptoms, he says. Grasses, which typically pollinate in the summer months, are the most common cause of summer respiratory allergies, he says, and ragweed is the most common cause of allergy symptoms in the late summer and fall.

What Are Pollen Allergies

5 Most Common Causes of Fall Allergies (&  What Can Help ...

Pollen is an essential part of a functioning ecosystem, as it allows flowers and other plants to reproduce. For those with allergies, it can be a major annoyance. When fine pollen powder is stirred into the air and inhaled, those with pollen allergies experience an adverse reaction. Their bodies treat the harmless pollen like a foreign invader and produce histamine to fight back. This immune response is what causes the uncomfortable symptoms associated with pollen allergies.

Pollen allergies are one of the most common allergies, with more than 25 million Americans affected. Most people experience pollen allergies seasonally when plants are in bloom in the spring, summer or fall. This issue is commonly known as hay fever.

Those with more severe allergies may experience them year-round. Common symptoms of pollen allergies include a runny or stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, an itchy throat and coughing. A person with a pollen allergy may also be more allergic to a specific type of pollen, such as tree pollen, grass pollen or ragweed pollen.

Even during heavy-pollen seasons, the amount of pollen in the air varies from day to day. Dry, warm and windy days tend to have higher pollen counts, leading to more severe allergic reactions. Pollen is less likely to become airborne on wet, rainy and cool days, meaning allergy sufferers are safe to roam outdoors. The daily weather report will often list the pollen count during spring, summer and fall.

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Best Plants For Respiratory Allergies

These plants are less likely to trigger allergy symptoms:

  • Delphinium. A stately perennial, delphinium is often grown for its showy, spurred flowers, according to the National Gardening Association. Its peak pollen time is when it blooms in early summer. Also known as larkspur, delphinium grows well where summers are relatively cool and moist, such as the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast.
  • Daffodil. Daffodils, which tolerate the cold well, grow throughout the United States. They bloom in early spring and can last from six weeks to six months, depending on where you live, according to the American Daffodil Society.
  • Purple leaf plum tree. This trees peak pollen season is early spring, when it blooms. It can be found in yards and gardens across the country.
  • Evergreen trees and shrubs. There are numerous varieties of evergreen trees and shrubs, called evergreen because their leaves or needles remain intact year-round. Conifers, most of which are evergreens, shed pollen but only for a short time in the spring.

Worst Plants for Respiratory Allergies

Certain trees can aggravate respiratory allergies. Those to avoid include:

Shrubs, like trees, can be male or female, and people with respiratory allergies should steer clear of male shrubs, which produce more pollen, according to the Asthma Society of Ireland. In general, shrubs to avoid include:

When it comes to grasses, there’s one prime offender:

Common Plants That Cause Allergies

Allergy season can be brutal to people who are sensitive to pollen. Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is triggered by tiny particles of pollen in the air. It can cause watery eyes and a stuffy nose whenever a strong wind blows through a field. There are some plants and trees that do trigger the most cases of hay fever, including the following.

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About Pollen In The Fall

Pollen, the common trigger of our seasonal allergies, originates from different sources depending on the time of year. In the spring, its released by the trees. In the summer, its brought forth by grasses. Pollen in the fall is strewn by weeds. The onset and duration of each of these three pollination phases largely depends on where you are located in the United States or abroad.

What Are The Signs Of An Allergic Reaction To Plants

10 Worst Plants for Allergy Sufferers

Allergies are excessive immune system reactions to foreign molecules that do not otherwise pose a threat to the body. Theoretically, allergies can develop in response to any type of molecule, but some of the more common allergies are in response to plants. An allergic reaction to plants can take many forms, with the specific signs of the reaction depending on which bodily tissues have been affected by, or in contact with, the plant causing the allergy.

One of the most common causes of an allergic reaction to plants is due to plant pollen. Pollen may be inhaled, or come into contact with the eyes. The signs of a reaction to pollen generally involve itchy, watery eyes, as well as respiratory system effects. These effects may include sneezing, itchy and runny nose, and coughing. Unlike a cold, allergy symptoms do not include a fever, or colored mucosal discharge from the mouth and nose.

A topical allergic reaction to plants like poison sumac, poison ivy, and poison oak can occur if these plants are touched. Similar reactions will occur if any plant a person is allergic to is handled. An itchy rash will break out on the affected skin area, which may even be painful, depending on the severity of the allergy.

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Allergic Rhinitis Is A Common And Debilitating Disease

  • Allergic rhinitis affects around 18% of people in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Allergic rhinitis predisposes people to more frequent sinus infections.
  • People with allergic rhinitis are often tired due to poor sleep quality.
  • Moderate or severe allergic rhinitis can affect general health, impair learning, increase time off work, and reduce productivity.
  • Around 80% of people with asthma have allergic rhinitis, which can make asthma difficult to control.

Other Foliage That Can Cause Hay Fever In Arizona

Russian Thistle: This is a tumbleweed that lots of people react to. It can cause skin rashes and many other reactions after exposure.

African Sumac: This tree can cause constant sneezing in the people who react to it.

Feather Palm and Desert Fan Palm: These palm trees produce a large amount of pollen. This can lead to reactions in people who live near palm trees.

Cottonwood Tree: Allergies to this tree are not common. However, those that do show reactions to this tree show it in a big way. People allergic to cottonwood trees are also likely allergic to willow trees.

Desert Broom: These plumes travel easily in the wind. This causes allergic reactions on a widespread level.

Arizona Sycamore: This moderate allergen can cause severe reactions in quite a few people.

Chinese Elm: The pollen from the Chinese elm is considered a moderate allergen, and it easily travels by the wind.

Arizona Ash: People who react to olive tree pollen are usually also allergic to Arizona ash.

Arizona Sycamore: These trees produce flowers between March to June. They also litter the streets of many of Arizonas cities. Many people suffer from reactions due to this trees flowers and pollen.

Hackberry: These can cause allergic reactions to certain people who get too close and have long exposure. It doesnt cause severe reactions unless you spend a lot of time around them.

: People who are allergic to cedar and cypress are often also allergic to juniper.

Other Causes of Allergies in Arizona

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Symptoms Of Pollen Allergies

Everyones immune system is different and allergies to pollens can cause diverse signs and symptoms. This means that diagnosing an allergy can be difficult. If you think you may have an allergy, keeping a record of your symptoms can help you and your doctor to understand what is causing your symptoms.

Understanding How Pollen Can Cause Allergies

What are the most common allergies?

What Is Pollen?Plants produce round pollen grains. Individual grains are too tiny to see with the naked eye, but some can form large, visible clusters. For fertilization to take place and seeds to form in some plants, pollen must be moved from the flower of one plant to that of another of the same speciesfor example, from one oak tree to another oak treeby a process called cross-pollination. Insects do this job for certain flowering plants, while other plants, such as ragweed, rely on wind to transport their pollen grains.

Which Types of Pollen Cause Allergies?Most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from plants that dont have showy flowers, such as trees, weeds, and grasses. These plants make small, light, and dry pollen grains that are made to be carried by wind.

Because airborne pollen can drift for many miles, removing an offending plant may not help. Amazingly, scientists have collected samples of ragweed pollen 400 miles out at sea and 2 miles high in the air. In addition, most allergy-causing pollen comes from plants that produce it in huge quantities. For example, a single ragweed plant can generate a million grains of pollen every day.

Some grasses that produce pollen-Timothy grass

Some trees that produce pollenOakBox elderMountain elder

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Leadwort: Look But Dont Touch

Clare Gainey/Alamy

Leadwort, also known as plumbago, is a mainly tropical shrub, but it can also be grown in the southern half of the United States. It is sometimes used by gardeners as a ground cover because of its tendency to spread underground and form a mat of plants.

Leadwort has shiny green leaves that turn red in autumn, and five-petal, medium-blue flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer and last until the first frost.

As lovely as this plant looks, resist any urge to touch it: Handling it can cause a skin irritation, redness, or blistering. Wear gloves when working with it in the garden.

Allergen Immunotherapy Is A Long

Medications only reduce the severity of symptoms and do not cure allergic rhinitis. Another treatment option is allergen immunotherapy which is also known as desensitisation. AIT switches off the allergic reaction, by repeatedly introducing small doses of allergen extracts, by injection, sublingual tablets, sprays or drops.

AIT is a long term treatment which is usually given over a few years.

It should only be started after assessment by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist to determine if this is a suitable treatment option.

ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.

ASCIA resources are based on published literature and expert review, however, they are not intended to replace medical advice. The content of ASCIA resources is not influenced by any commercial organisations.

For more information go to

To donate to immunology/allergy research go to

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Poison Oak: Not Related To Oak Trees


Poison oak is not related to oak trees, although its mature leaves somewhat resemble those of an English oak. Like poison ivy, poison oak is found throughout the United States, and it grows in forests as well as in dry spots, like sandy fields. Poison oak has deep green leaves that grow in clusters of three on a firm stem. Its yellow flowers are often described as hairy and its berries, fuzzy .

Also like poison ivy, every part of a poison oak plant contains urushiol in all seasons, meaning that any part of the plant can cause a rash if you come into contact.

Symptoms of and treatment for poison oak are the same as for poison ivy, and the severity of your reaction will depend on your individual sensitivity to the allergen.

Wood Nettle: Beware The Stinging Hairs

Virtual Pollen Guide: Trees That Cause Allergies

William Brooks/Alamy

Wood nettle is an herbaceous plant typically found in moist areas of woodlands. It tends to grow in large, dense patches, which can provide cover for wildlife. It is also a host plant for a number of insects and butterflies. It stands about 2 to 4 feet tall and has light- to medium-green stems covered with stiff, white hairs that sting when theyre rubbed against.

The leaves of the wood nettle plant are medium- to dark green, roughly oval-shaped, and serrated. Young leaves are densely covered with stinging hairs, while older leaves tend to have fewer of them, often located on the underside of the leaf. In summer the wood nettle blooms, with lacy strands of white flowers.

The sting from wood nettle usually subsides within an hour. You may also be able to reduce the irritation by pouring water over the irritated area when you notice the stinging, then washing the area with soap and water.

Some people collect wood nettle for food and sauté or steam it like a green vegetable.

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Why Do Flowers Irritate Allergies

Any plant that produces pollen poses a threat for an allergy sufferer. Trees, grasses and ragweed are the most common causes of pollen allergies, but flower pollen can also cause irritation, particularly in the spring and summer. Flowers with very light pollen that can be easily stirred up by the breeze are more likely to irritate allergies.

Some flowers produce more pollen than others, which also makes them more likely to cause allergic reactions. When flowers are brought inside, pollen can become more concentrated in the smaller area and produce an even more severe reaction. For most people, its the pollen itself that causes an allergic reaction, but for others, the strong fragrance of some flowers can cause adverse effects like headaches.

Pollen Allergy Causes Allergic Rhinitis

The correct name for hay fever is seasonal allergic rhinitis. Symptoms are caused by the body’s immune response to inhaled pollen, resulting in chronic inflammation of the eyes and nasal passages.

Allergic rhinitis symptoms include:

  • Irritable, itchy, watery and red eyes.
  • Itchy ears, throat and palate.

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Best And Worst Flowers For Allergy Sufferers

When spring arrives, it brings luscious blooms, green grass and bright blue skies. But as fresh flowers emerge from the earth, those with seasonal allergies head back indoors. Basking in the sun is simply not worth the risk of the sneezing, itching and coughing that accompanies pollen allergies. Allergies prevent people from fully enjoying the outdoors, and those with severe pollen allergies may even hesitate to bring cut flowers into their homes.

Luckily, with the right knowledge, you can find beautiful blooms that wont make you sneeze. Many flower varieties do not irritate pollen allergies, so you can brighten your home with them while avoiding discomfort. Read on for a guide to the best and worst flowers for pollen allergies and how to select the perfect bouquet for your home.


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