Flowers are certainly beautiful – but for some, all that beauty can come with a heavy price no thanks to allergies. As many flowers depend on pollinisation for them to reproduce (which means they release their pollen to the environment or depend on insects to it for them), many Singaporeans are affected by hayfever (allergic rhinitis). Symptoms can be quite uncomfortable: irritated nose, throat and eyes. It can also be hard to breathe and you might find yourself sneezing a lot.
But don’t worry – you don’t have to choose between one or the other. It turns out there are many flowers out there that are allergy-friendly. Here’s a list of the most common allergy-friendly and allergy-triggering flowers, so you can pick wisely.
Hydrangeas are a great choice for allergy sufferers, as they have little to no pollen, which means most of them are not irritant at all. There are also lots of perks when it comes to hydrangeas: they are big, so they are perfect to add volume to any bouquets, they come in a variety of bright and unique colours from white to pink to violet, and they are long-lasting.
This hardy flower gives off very little pollen – which means it’s great to avoid hayfever! It is worth noting though, that even though the plant may not cause sneezing or eye irritation, some people do get a skin irritation from touching the leaves. Geraniums come in a wide array of colours, featuring blue, pink, and magenta hues.
Lilies are a little bit tricky, as they have a fair amount of pollen. In order to be allergy-friendly, the pollen needs to be removed, which is actually pretty easy to do. You need to cut the stamens and the pollen-laden anthers and voila! The only thing you need to be mindful of is to wear gloves, as the pollen can stain clothes and exude a skin-irritant sap.
Lilies are truly stunning flowers, and come in a variety of colours: pink, red, orange and mixed hues. They are also very fragrant – which while some people love it, other may feel the scent is too strong. It all comes down to personal preference.
Good news for all the traditional romantics out there – roses are quite allergy-friendly, as their pollen is hidden in between all the layers of delicate petals. An interesting tip: when it comes to choosing roses is to prefer the ones with denser petals, as the denser the petal, the less pollen they’ll release.
Gorgeous and delicate, petunias’ pollen is not considered to be greatly hayfever triggering. They do, however, have a very prominent and distinctive scent that some people may dislike – which, again, it comes down to personal preference. But the flower itself is very allergy-friendly.
Sadly, daisies are probably the worst allergy-triggering plant there is – and it’s quite a common flower, that grows easily in the wild and attracts many bees. They are actually not wind pollinated, which makes it a bit better, however allergy-sufferers are advised to restrain from smelling them or getting too close.
Also part of the same family as the daisy, chrysanthemums are highly allergy-triggering and huge pollen producers. Even though they reach their peak of pollen production in spring, they can continue with it way into autumn – which is definitely not great if you suffer from hayfever.
The whole centre of sunflowers is actually made of pollen – and it’s all dispersed by the wind, making them really allergy-triggering. In addition, a common misconception is that because they are not fragrant, they must be allergy-friendly, which couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Don’t let dahlias’ alluring beauty and many petals fool you – they are also part of the Aster family (like daisies and chrysanthemums), so as you’d expect, super allergy-triggering. They attract many insect pollinators, especially in summer. Even though there are many types of dahlias, other than a few exceptions, most of them are considered allergy-triggering.
Chamomile tea and infusions may have very benefits and a calming scent and flavour – but you should walk the other way if you see them in bouquets or the street. They not only produce pollen in high quantities, but the pollen itself is one of the most irritant ones there is.
Choosing gift flowers
We hope this information can come in handy when choosing your next bouquet of flowers if you suffer from hayfever or are gifting flowers to someone that does. And if your favourite flower made the allergy-triggering list, don’t feel disheartened – remember all the allergy-friendly flowers are just as mesmerising and beautiful.
If you’re thinking of gifting unique and quality flower arrangements or bouquets, either for a special occasion, wedding or birthday, browse all the gorgeous arrangements we provide here at Gift Flowers.