Plants That Make Us Sneeze

Don Hertzler, Resident and Tulsa Master Gardener

As we navigate, what seems like, the never-ending allergy season we thought it might be helpful to take a look at what external plants might be causing more issues than normal. Plant and trees that cause
us to sneeze can be divided into two categories: wind pollinated or insect pollinated.

Insect pollinated plants are not a source of hay fever allergies. You can tell that a plant is insect pollinated if it has an attractive flower. Flowers that attract insects are attractive to humans. So if a plant or tree has pretty flowers, it does not cause you to have allergies. Common plants with attractive flowers would include garden and native flowers as well as some trees – including magnolia, dogwood, redbud, and fruit trees.

Trees and other plants that don’t have attractive flowers are wind pollinated. They have pollen that is so small and dry that the pollen particles float in the air. Grasses, weeds, and many trees including
maple, oak, and all conifers are wind pollinated. It is their pollen that causes you to sneeze.

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