Stuffy and runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes are common symptoms experienced by those who are allergic to plants. Basically, allergies are the result of a hypersensitive immune system. Your immune system attacks substances it mistakenly identifies as harmful and then the symptoms kick in. In the case of being allergic to plants, we are talking about being allergic to the plant’s airborne pollen. In this article, we share some of the top plants that are more likely to trigger allergy problems.
1. Ragweed: It is the most allergenic plant. Seventy-five percent of people with pollen allergies are allergic to ragweed. Unfortunately, it can be found just anywhere —from fields to riverbanks and roadside ditches. There’s a ton of ragweed in the Midwest and the Mississippi River basin. But it is less common on the West Coast or New England. The worst time for ragweed is summer and fall.
2. Mountain Cedar: This plant is most prominent in mountainous areas in Arkansas, Missouri, parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Its peak time is spring.
3. Elm: Elm trees are widespread throughout the eastern United States and Midwest. As with other allergenic plants, the elm produces flowers and fruit, which release pollen into the air. Regarding its peak time, elms flower in the early spring. The flat fruit ripens and falls in late spring to release a seed.
4. Mulberry: Mulberries are a silkworm’s natural food source. Mulberries produce flowers and fruit, and the flower’s pollen is wind-borne and highly allergenic ant it becomes most problematic for allergy sufferers in the winter, spring, and summer months. You’ll find mulberry trees in woods and river valleys in the eastern and western United States. Mulberry trees are also popular ornamental trees, and you’ll often see them planted along a street.
5. Pecan: Pecan is a type of hickory tree. It’s also one of the most allergenic trees out there and it produces a pollen similar to that found in ragweed. The tree is native to North America and can be found through the western and southeastern sections of the United States. Spring is the peak time for pecan trees.
6. Oak: The oak tree can be found in forests from Florida to Virginia and Texas. It has small grains of pollen that will aggravate allergies. Its peak time is spring, during which time it produces a potent amount of pollen. In fact, oak trees are known to produce more pollen than any other plant.