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 Name / Common 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.
- Outdoor Allergies Resource Hub – a compilation of our best.
- Hay Fever Handbook – all you’ll need to cope.
- Trees that Make You Sneeze
- Stinging Insect Allergies – when is it a serious reaction?
Originally published in Allergic Living magazine.
To order a subscription, click here.