Different kinds of plants cause allergies at different times of the year. Trees and grasses--which together account for about 40 percent of plant allergies--generally produce pollen during the spring and summer. But lots of folks shudder when autumn approaches. That's because many of the worst weed allergens are putting out their pollen now. Plants such as ragweeds, pigweeds, and goosefoots account for many allergies, as do sagebrush, English purslane, pigweed, lamb's quarter, Mexican tea, and tumbleweeds.
Unfortunately, some of our favorite garden plants may be culprits, too. Composites, such as aster, feverfew, sunflower, chryanthemum, chamomile, and marigold affect many allergy-prone people. So does the weed cocklebur.
According to the Weather Channel (
), ragweeds account for more than half of the allergic reactions caused by plants.
And Schering Corporation, the company that manufactures the allergy drug, Claritin, says ragweed pollen counts of just 20 grains per cubic meter of air--that's about 1,000 grains in an average bedroom--can trigger reactions. Just one ragweed plant can generate 1 billion teeny grains of pollen! (Visit
to learn more.)
If you spot any allergy weeds in your garden, cut them down before they flower. Even if they don't bother you, you'll be doing your neighbors a favor. And if the neighbors harbor weeds that are allergenic, ask them to cut them down or volunteer to handle the task yourself. It will help the whole neighborhood!