Spring is in the air…and so is pollen! It’s easy to confuse a runny nose or headache with the common cold, but more times than not, it’s just allergies.
Spring flowers are usually thought of as the biggest allergy-offenders, but believe it or not, plants that produce small, hidden flowers, like oaks and elms, are actually more potent than typical flowers that we think of in spring.
Here is a list of a few plants that are the biggest pollen producers out there:
• Mountain Cedar and Eastern Red Cedar: These are found in the Southwestern and Eastern United States.
• Oak: Oaks have hanging catkin’s that bear clusters of male flowers. They release the millions of pollen grains to pollinate female flowers, and are found all over the United States.
• Elm: Elms are found in the Eastern and Central U.S. They usually line the streets because they are a great source of shade…and pollen.
• Red Alder: The pollen peak for Red Alders is February through April in cool and moist areas of the Western United States.
• Sweet Vernal Grass: Vernal is an early-blooming grass, and you usually see it on the side of the road throughout the United States.
Each of these plants relies on wind, not insects, to transfer pollen. This makes them especially dangerous in spring. The reason why allergies are so common during this time of the year is because these plants have to produce large amounts of pollen to ensure the female flower gets pollinated.