Field of Science

Hay fever - It's ragweed, not goldenrod

At least once every late summer/fall season, TPP has to explain that it's ragweed that aggrevates your allergies, not goldenrod.  Funny though, don't think it ever was in one of my blogs.  Wonder why?  No matter, the Annotated Flora has done a very nice job of explaining about this complete with pictures, but probably, someone will still ask.  The general rule is simple: if something is gaudy enough for you to notice the flowers, then it isn't engaging in wind pollination and the pollen isn't getting into your nose.  The same problem occurs in the spring because some people are allergic to pollen from trees with inconspicuous flowers and they bloom at the same time as black locust trees.  But those big masses of white flowers are to attract insect pollinators, so unless a bee flies up your nose, black locust pollen isn't causing your hay fever.

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