Allergy sufferers can end up in a love-hate relationship with flowers. The beauty of a bouquet is much easier to enjoy if you’re not worried about pollen triggering a bout of sneezing or giving you red, itchy eyes. Thankfully, there are quite a few floral options to choose from if you’re looking to send flowers to someone special without giving them an allergy attack.
Why do some flowers set off allergies while others don’t? It’s best explained by how a plant is pollinated. Flowers that have their female and male parts on separate blooms on the same plant (monoecious), or even separate plants (dioecious), are often pollinated by the wind. Their pollen is light and abundant, and it easily becomes airborne to help the plant reproduce. Flowers with both female and male parts on the same blossom—known as “perfect plants”—are less likely to have this problem. If a plant is pollinated by insects, its pollen tends to be heavy or even sticky, which reduces the risk of someone inhaling it.
If you’re looking for the best options to give to an allergy sufferer, you’ll be happy to know that the list includes many popular favorites:
Hydrangeas: These generous round clusters of flowers produce little pollen. Just a few on their own can create an elegant arrangement.
Orchids: Most varieties of orchids have sticky pollen, which doesn’t get into the air to cause problems.
Roses: These year-round favorites are perfect plants, so their pollen isn’t designed to carry far. Unscented varieties and newer hybrids are less likely to trigger allergies than garden roses.
Tulips and daffodils: Flowers from spring bulbs tend to have a low pollen count, which makes them suitable for allergy sufferers.
Irises: These graceful purple spring flowers are also allergy-friendly.
Peonies: While all varieties are allergy-friendly, for the super-sensitive noses, opt for double-flowering varieties, which produce even less pollen.
Calla lilies: These elegant blooms are insect-pollinated, so the pollen they do have tends to stay put.
This list covers some of the possibilities for hypoallergenic flowers. It’s always best to consult with your local florist if you’re looking for an arrangement for an allergy sufferer. They can help steer you away from flowers notorious for triggering allergies—such as chrysanthemums, daisies, chamomile, and sunflowers—and make additional suggestions for appropriate flowers to include. With new varieties of flowers being bred to select for low or no pollen, the choices for allergy-free arrangements are increasing.
Whether you’re looking for a single arrangement or a full event design, Rachel Cho Floral Design can ensure that you’ll enjoy your flowers without an attack of hay fever. Our passion for unique, cutting-edge design and attentive customer service means that we craft every arrangement with care and attention to detail. Contact us today for all your floral needs.