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The Pollen Section

Creating the Allergy-Friendly Garden

The Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS) assigns plants a rating from 1 to 10, with 1 being best for allergies and 10 being worst. The following plants were rated 6 or above by Ogren (except where noted), and should be avoided.

Allergy Plants to Avoid

Botanical NameCommon Name

  • Amaranthus caudatus – love lies bleeding, tassel flower
  • Chrysanthemum – chrysanthemum, daisy (numerous varieties)
  • Hydrangea paniculata & querciflora – pee-gee and oak leaf hydrangea
  • Thalictrum – buttercup
  • Aster – aster
  • Daucus carota – Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot
  • Carex – sedge
  • Hedera – ivy
  • Artemesia – wormwood, tarragon
  • Doronicum – leopard’s bane
  • Alyssum – alyssum
  • Leontopodium alpinium – edelweiss
  • Ligustrum – privet hedge
  • Tanacetum – tansy, painted daisy
  • Cryptomeria japonica – Japanese cedar
  • Celosia – cockscomb
  • Echinacea purpurea* – purple coneflower
  • Syringa – lilac
  • Matthiola – stocks
  • Lavendula – lavender

* Rated 5. Use sparingly.

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Originally published in Allergic Living magazine.
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