Allergenic Plants

If you're allergic, avoid these plants that could make you sneeze and wheeze.

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Giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)

The first step toward allergy-free gardening is to know which plants are the worst offenders.

Many species of acacia trees are serious pollen producers. (SHNS photo by Maureen Gilmer)
Pecan (Carya pecan)
Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)
Rye grass (Lolium perenne)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)

The chief culprits of sneeze-fests are the wind-pollinated plants. If you're a gardener with allergies, you'll want to avoid using these plants in your garden. Although pollen can travel from other sources several miles away and still aggravate your hay fever, you'll reduce your chances for exposure if you keep the offenders out of your landscape. Check out which plants could be making you sneeze!

Allergy-causing Trees

Acacia (Acacia sp.)
Maple (Acer sp.)
Alder (Alnus sp.)
Birch (Betula sp.)
Hickory (Carya sp.)
Pecan (Carya pecan)
Hackberry (Celtis sp.)
Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica)
Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Beech (Fagus sp.)
Ash (Fraxinus sp.)
Juniper (Juniperus sp.)
Poplar (Liriodendron sp.)
Walnut (Juglans sp.)
Mulberry (Morus sp.)
Olive (Olea europaea)
Sycamore (Platanus sp.)
Cottonwood (Populus sp.)
Oak (Quercus sp.)
Pepper tree (Schinus molle)
Western red cedar (Thuja plicata)
Elm (Ulmus sp.)

Allergy-causing Grasses

Redtop (Agrostis sp.)
Sweet vernal (Anthoxanthum odoratum)
Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon)
Orchard (Dactylis glomerata)
Fescue (Festuca sp.)
Velvet (Holcus sp.)
Rye (Lolium perenne)
Timothy (Phleum pratense)
Bluegrass (Poa sp.)
Johnson (Sorghum halepense)

Allergy-causing Weeds

Pigweed (Amaranthus sp.)
Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.)
Sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Lamb's-quarters (Chenopodium album)
Summer cypress (Kochia scoparia)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Plantain (Plantago sp.)
Sorrel (Rumex sp.)
Tumbleweed, Russian thistle (Salsola kali, also S. tragus, S. iberica, S. australis)
Nettle (Urtica sp.)
Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium)

All images courtesy of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, unless otherwise indicated.

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