The Allergy-Friendly Bouquet: What To Look For In The Flowers You Choose

If you have pollen allergies that prevent you from having lots of flowers in your home, here's some good news: If you choose the right types of flowers, you can have a sneeze- and hive-free bundle of blooms made just for you. It's all a matter of choosing flowers with the right characteristics that limit or eliminate pollen.

Non-Wind Pollinated

A big part of pollen allergies is the fact that pollen can be carried on the wind, right to your nose. But that doesn't mean the pollen of every flower has to be carried by the wind. Flowers with tube- or trumpet-like blooms need insects and animals to reach inside the flower and carry the pollen away with them to another flower. That means that you can have these flowers near you and never encounter the pollen because wind won't be able to lift it out of the long-petaled blossom. Daffodils are a good example; these are normally pollinated by insects like bees, which climb inside the flower to reach the pollen. (Daffodils can be wind-pollinated in the sense that wind can blow pollen from other flowers into a daffodil, but that is not how daffodil pollen is normally removed from a flower.)


Look for flowers that just don't have pollen to begin with. A note of caution here first though -- if you are having a bouquet arranged by a florist, let the florist know about your allergies. Sometimes pollen from other flowers can fall onto pollen-free flowers, increasing the risk of an allergic reaction when you get the bouquet. The florist needs to be sure the blossoms he or she is using are as clean as possible.

Past that, look for flowers that are of a type called formal doubles. These have many, many petals that crowd out reproductive parts, and the flower can't produce pollen or seeds at all. Formal double camellias, such as Camellia 'Elizabeth Anderson,' look lovely in bouquets.


Some flowers have a lot of pollen in a big lump -- right on the end of a very long stamen that is easy to cut out of the flower. Lilies and hibiscus both have pollen structures like this, so you can ask the florist to remove the pollen-producing parts of these blossoms before they're added to the bouquet.

If you want to find out about other allergy-friendly flowers for bouquets, talk to florists near you, such as those at Fasan Florist. They can show you several species that won't spread pollen all over your home or your sinuses.