As spring approaches and flowers and plants start to bloom, pollen fills the air. According to Thomas Ogren, a horticulturist who invented the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS), pollen is the most common allergen that we are exposed to. It’s also something we can control by adjusting our landscapes to reduce plants that cause allergies.
There are three common types of flowering systems that we should be aware of when choosing plants: perfect-flowered plants, monoecious plants, and dioecious plants.
- Perfect-flowered plants: In perfect-flowered plants, male and female parts are in the same flower. Because the pollination process is relatively contained, these types of plants aren’t highly allergenic.
- Monoecious plants: In monoecious plants, male and female flowers grow on the same plant. Monoecious plants that are wind-pollinated are likely to cause allergies.
- Dioecious plants: These plants are separate-sexed. Some are male, and some are female. The male trees produce pollen, and are often highly allergenic, while the female trees produce fruit or seeds and are not highly allergenic.
This spring, whether you’re trying to figure out what’s triggering your allergies, looking for a new houseplant, or replanting your garden, this visual will help you choose the right allergy-safe plant!
Photo by Flower’s.Lover