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11 allergy-inducing pollen producers

By: Russell McLendon on April 21, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
Orchard grass

Photo: Hiroyuki Takeda/Flickr

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Orchard grass

One of the most prolific cool-season grasses, orchard grass is widely used as a forage crop and as ground cover in orchards. It's also one of the top grass allergens in the world.

Habitat: Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa; introduced to U.S. in the 1700s. Prefers cool climates, moist soil and partial shade.

Description: Tall perennial grass reaching 3 to 4 feet in height. Grows in bunches.

Allergenicity: Severe

Allergy season: May to June

Tips: Grass pollen doesn't travel as far as tree pollen, so windy days tend to be worse. Avoid the outdoors before 10 a.m., keep windows closed and don't use attic fans, especially if you live near grazing land or orchards.