Five Worst Plants for Allergy Sufferers
Posted by Shifrah on Monday, August 09, 2010
Elms are one of the worst trees for allergy sufferers.For anyone suffering from hay fever, otherwise known as allergic rhinitis, a stroll in the park or admiring the flowers may cause much more suffering than joy. Instead, itchy watery eyes and a runny nose may send you right back inside. When pollen gives you grief, it may be helpful to know some of the most common allergy-causing plants and trees, their peak seasons, and where they thrive. Here are the top five culprits, as presented by


Found in abundance in the Midwest and the Mississippi River basin, you’ll find ragweed in fields, riverbanks, roadsides, and rural areas, especially in the summer and fall. According to Dr. Warren V. Filley, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, ragweed is the "most allergenic plant we have." About 75 percent of Americans with plant allergies are sensitive to this plant, which much smaller in stature than the next instigator.

Mountain Cedar

For the allergy sufferer in the Texas hill country, it does not get any worse than the majestic mountain cedar. Found in mountainous areas, especially in Arkansas, Missouri, and parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and of course Texas, this tree causes some of the most severe allergy symptoms. Their peak time is in spring.


Grasses are often a problem for those who have allergies. What’s worse is if you mow your grass, you also pick up mold as well as pollen, not just the grass itself. Ryegrass is seen in dry, cool lawns, meadows, and pastures in the northern parts of the United States. It does the best in the spring and summer, along with its cousins who often also cause allergies: timothy, blue, and orchard grasses, though these don't earn the prestige of the "top five" list.


The pride of Canada, there is also a profusion of maple trees in the eastern United States. Indeed, this beautiful, colorful tree is found throughout the United States, especially the ash-leaf maple that produces potent allergens. Maples cause the worst allergies in the early spring and are seen along streams and woods. The red, silver, and sugar varieties of the maple are more moderate.


Another beautiful tree, the elm is seen in cultivated, wetland habitats, especially in the eastern and midwestern United States. The American Dutch elm peaks in the spring and the lace bark elm in the fall.

To see the next five worst plants and trees for your allergies, check out the full list at

To obtain accurate pollen and mold levels in your area, go to the National Allergy Bureau website, which reports pollen and mold levels by area.

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