There is nothing worse for a gardener than having a pollen allergy. Every spring, going out in the garden or the terrace can be a nightmare: itchy nose, uncontrolled sneezing, eyes that turn red… does that ring a bell? These are some of the most common symptoms suffered by anyone who cannot spend a lot of time surrounded by plants in full bloom.
Fortunately, not all plants cause allergies and not all sensitive people are allergic to all plants. But there are some that still appear on websites and in the news about it. Do you want to know which are they? although aHere are the names of the plants that cause allergies (in Spain).
Why do we have allergies?
Well, I’m not a doctor, but I was curious why some of us have such a bad time when exposed to a substance that medical professionals call allergens, be it pollen , food, dust or something else. And it turns out it seems our immune system goes into overdrive, releasing histamine, a substance that has many effects on the body.
For example, if you have a food allergy, it causes vomiting and/or diarrhea; if it is pollen, it affects the respiratory system more, causing coughing and sneezing. In very severe cases, it can cause anaphylaxis, which is the most severe allergy as it can be fatal. Its symptoms appear shortly after exposure to the allergen and can lead to, among other things, respiratory distress, swelling of the tongue and hives.
It’s more common to appear in cases of nut and insect sting allergies, and not so much from pollen exposure, but it’s still handy to know.
For more information, I recommend this video in which they explain what allergies are and how our body works:
Which plants cause allergies?
Many plants can cause allergies. Knowing them will help us to better choose those that we will have at home, in the garden and/or on the terrace. For example, the most common are:
Casuarina (Casuarina spp.)
The casuarina is an evergreen tree that could well be confused with pines, but which is not really related to them. It grows quickly and is an exceptional plant to have as a single specimen or in small groups. But In the fall, when it flowers, it produces a large amount of pollen.
Cypress (Cupressus spp)
Cypress is an evergreen conifer that is often planted in gardens throughout Spain. It is also very common to see it in cemeteries, parks and avenues. Although it does not produce showy flowers, the pollen it releases in early spring can be annoying for allergy sufferers.
Ash (Fraxinus spp)
Ash is a fast-growing deciduous tree that provides shade and looks great in gardens. However, produces a large number of flowers each springbefore the leaves grow. And of course, in doing so, the pollen is carried by the wind. Although human noses are not their destiny, the truth is that there is nothing we can do to prevent more than one pimple from entering our nostrils and causing typical allergy symptoms.
Grasses are a group of herbs that grow the most in fields, meadows, gardens and even in pots if we are not careful. There are more than twelve thousand different species, grouped into about 800 genera, making it one of the largest botanical families. Here are cereals, fodder and grasses for lawns, for example. So if you are sensitive, it is best to put on a mask every time you leave the house; and yes the FFP2 will serve you.
Mimosa (Acacia spp.)
It’s unusual, but I’m adding it because it happened to me, and maybe it happened to someone else. Acacias are trees and shrubs that produce many flowers in spring, of a magnificent yellow color. They are low maintenance as they are resistant to drought, heat and also grow quickly. But continued exposure to its pollen may cause allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals. Every spring, the itchy nose can become unbearable.
Mulberry (Morus spp)
Mulberry is a deciduous tree that is also widely used as an urban plant, as well as in gardens. It is a favorite of those who like to have silkworms; not in vain, the leaves are the ideal food for these animals. Now well, its pollen is one of the most common causes of spring allergies.
Olive tree and wild olive tree (european wave Yes Olea europaea var. sylvester)
Very common plants throughout the Mediterranean. You go on an excursion in the countryside or in the mountains, you pass by olive trees and/or wild olive trees in full bloom -which happens in spring-, and your body reacts unexpectedly: sneezing. The pollen from these plants can be a huge torment to anyone who is sensitive to them, which is a problem because they are precious. But yes, it is better not to have them nearby if you suspect an allergy, unless you prune them to have them in shrubs or even bonsai, and remove the flowers as soon as they germinate.
Nettles (Urtica spp.)
Nettles are the herbs we least like to have in a garden. They grow very fast, and they also have stinging hairs on their leaves, which break at the slightest contact with the skin and release a liquid that causes inflammation, redness and pain. But in spring they also have pollen which, if it gets inside sensitive noses, will surely cause sneezing and itching.. However, it would not be correct to forget that these plants have multiple uses in gardening, such as insecticides or fertilizers, for example. Here you have more information about it.
Pellitory (Parietaria officinalis)
Parietaria is a plant known as wall weed because that is where it can be found most easily, as well as on walls. It grows in much of Europe and Asia and bears a strong resemblance to the common nettle, although it does not have stinging hairs. Its pollen-filled flowers bloom in spring., as soon as he settled down; that is to say as soon as the cold is gone.
Shadow Banana (plane tree x hispanic)
Widely used as an urban tree in temperate regions, the shade banana, whose scientific name is plane tree x hispanic, is one of the tree species that can cause problems for people with allergies. Although very decorative, with its mottled bark and maple-like leaves, when it blooms in the spring, the pollen affects the nose and eyescausing itching, redness and tearing.
These are just 10 plants that cause allergies, but do you know of any others that we haven’t mentioned? We will be happy to read you in the comments.