Different Types of Pollen in the World: The Ultimate List

June 13, 2024
2 min read
Different Types of Pollen in the World: The Ultimate ListDifferent Types of Pollen in the World: The Ultimate List
Content Lead
quotation

Pollen is an essential substance in the ecosystem, required for pollination, but its impact goes beyond just plant fertilization. Different types of pollen have various effects on human health, mainly allergic reactions, known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis.

Mild symptoms of pollen allergies include sneezing, a stuffy nose, or itchy eyes. In severe cases, pollen can worsen respiratory conditions like asthma, leading to potentially life-threatening complications. For these reasons, it becomes essential to understand the different types of pollen and their impact on people’s allergies.

In this blog, we’ll decode just that. Let’s begin.

Exploring Different Types of Pollen Grains

Pollen grains are usually categorized into three broad categories:

  1. Tree pollen
  2. Grass pollen
  3. Weed pollen

Each category has a unique origin and can be further broken into sub-species.

1. What is Tree Pollen?

Tree pollen refers to the microscopic pollen grains trees release during pollination. These tiny particles can cause allergic reactions, including hay fever symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose in susceptible individuals when inhaled. Tree pollen season varies by region and tree species.

Different Types of Tree Pollen

Different Types of Tree Pollen
Types of Tree Pollen

Here are different types of tree pollen and their characteristics:

  • Birch Pollen
    • Source: Released from birch trees and belongs to the Betula genus.
    • Season: March to June, peaking in May.
    • Symptoms: Causes allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, leading to sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, scratchy throat or ears, and red, sore eyelids.
  • Oak Pollen
    • Source: Released from oak trees and belongs to the Quercus genus.
    • Season: Early to mid-spring (March to June, peaking in May).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, and respiratory issues.
  • Ceder Pollen
    • Source: Produced by trees like eastern red cedar and mountain cedar, and belonging to the Cedrus and Juniperus genera.
    • Season: Late fall to early spring (December to March).
    • Symptoms: Causes extreme tiredness, sore throat, runny nose, difficulty smelling, mild fever, itchy or watery eyes, stuffy nose, plugged ears, and frequent sneezing.
  • Pine Pollen
    • Source: Released from pine trees like Masson’s, Chinese red, and Scots pine, belonging to the Pinus genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (April to July, peaking in May).
    • Symptoms: Causes runny nose, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and wheezing.
  • Maple Pollen
    • Source: Released from maple trees, like sugar maple and red maple which belong to the Acer genus.
    • Season: Early spring before budding (March to April).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, swelling of the face or lips, fatigue or tiredness, headache, aggravated asthma symptoms.
  • Ash Pollen
    • Source: Produced by ash trees with distinctive compound leaves that belong to the Fraxinus genus.
    • Season: Late winter to spring (March to May, peaking in April).
    • Symptoms: Causes watery, red, or swollen eyes, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, asthmatic symptoms, coughing, swelling, itching in the mouth and throat, headache, fatigue, skin rashes, sinus pressure, disturbed sleep, and loss of smell and taste.
  • Elm Pollen
    • Source: Produced by elm trees belonging to the Ulmus genus.
    • Season: Late winter to early spring (February to April, peaking in March).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, runny or blocked nose, asthmatic symptoms, skin rash, scratchy throat or ear canal, coughing, chronic sinus pressure, fatigue, swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes, decreased sense of smell or taste, and headache.
  • Hickory Pollen
    • Source: Released from hickory trees like shagbark, pignut, and mockernut, belonging to the Carya genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (April to June).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes, and other disturbances.
  • Sycamore Pollen
    • Source: Released from sycamore trees, large deciduous trees belonging to the Platanus genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (March to June).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery, or red eyes, blocked nose, wheezing, chest tightness, tiredness, difficulties in sleeping, facial swelling, skin rash, coughing, sore throat, sinus pressure, and anaphylactic shock in severe cases.
  • Olive Pollen
    • Source: Released from olive trees and belongs to the Olea genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (May to June).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes, and wheezing.
  • Juniper Pollen
    • Source: Produced by juniper trees and shrubs, belonging to the Juniperus genus.
    • Season: Late winter to early spring (February to April).
    • Symptoms: Causes itchy or watery eyes, congestion or runny nose, sneezing or wheezing, headaches, sore throat, coughing, dark circles under the eyes, and aggravated asthma.
  • Alder Pollen
    • Source: Released from alder trees and belongs to the Alnus genus.
    • Season: Late winter to early spring (January to April, peaking in March).
    • Symptoms: Causes runny nose, coughing, congestion, sneezing, scratchy throat, itchy eyes, watery eyes, and aggravated asthma symptoms.
  • Hazel Pollen
    • Source: Produced by hazel trees, belonging to the Corylus genus.
    • Season: Late winter to early spring (January to April, peaking February to March).
    • Symptoms: Causes runny nose, coughing, congestion, sneezing, scratchy throat, Itchy eyes, watery eyes, allergic rash, and worsened asthma.
  • Beech Pollen
    • Source: Released from beech trees, a hardwood tree belonging to the Fagus genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (April to May).
    • Symptoms: Causes allergic rhinitis symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes, and wheezing.
  • Pecan Pollen
    • Source: Produced by pecan trees, deciduous trees in the hickory family belonging to the Carya genus.
    • Season: Early spring months, typically between March and April though the timeline can extend from February through May.
    • Symptoms: Causes hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and itching of the mouth or face.
  • Yew Pollen
    • Source: Released from yew trees and belongs to the Taxus genus.
    • Season: Late winter to early spring (January to April, peaking in March).
    • Symptoms: Causes allergic rhinitis symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
  • Aspen Pollen
    • Source: Released from aspen trees, deciduous trees in the willow family, belonging to the Populus alba genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (March to May).
    • Symptoms: Aspen pollen can cause allergic rhinitis symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and aggravated asthma.
  • Cottonwood Pollen
    • Source: Released from cottonwood trees, a poplar tree variety belonging to the Populus genus.
    • Season: Spring to early summer (March to May).
    • Symptoms: Causes itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and aggravated asthma.
  • Mountain Elder Pollen
    • Source: Produced by mountain elder shrubs and small trees, belonging to the Sambucus genus.
    • Season: Early to mid-spring (March to May).
    • Symptoms: Causes hay fever symptoms like sneezing and runny nose.
  • Box Elder Pollen
    • Source: Produced by boxelder trees, a maple tree that belongs to the Acer genus.
    • Season: Spring to early summer (March to April).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy, red, or watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, scratchy throat and ears, coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, skin rash, eczema, tiredness, sinus pressure causing facial pain.
  • Willow Pollen
    • Source: Released from willow trees, typically found near water sources, and belonging to the Salix genus.
    • Season: Early spring (February to April, peaking in March).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, itchy throat or inside of ears, skin rashes, wheezing, fatigue, under-eye circles, and frequent headaches.
  • Plane Pollen
    • Source: Released from plane trees, commonly planted in urban areas, belonging to the Platanus genus.
    • Season: Early spring (March to May, peaking in May).
    • Symptoms: Causes runny nose, nasal congestion, red, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itchy throat and eyes, sinus pressure, shortness of breath, asthma symptoms, skin rashes, and fatigue.
  • Lime Pollen
    • Source: Produced by lime trees, found in urban parks and gardens, and belongs to the Tilia genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (June to July, peaking in June).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, red, itchy, or watery eyes, wheezing, itchy or swollen throat, coughing, skin rashes, headaches, fatigue, facial pain, postnasal drip, and difficulty sleeping due to congestion.
  • Mulberry Pollen
    • Source: Produced by mulberry trees, deciduous flowering trees that belong to the Morus genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (late March through July).
    • Symptoms: Causes itchy or watery eyes, sinusitis, and severe asthma attacks.
  • Poplar Pollen
    • Source: Produced by poplar trees like cottonwoods and aspens, belonging to the Populus genus.
    • Season: Late winter to early spring (March to May, peaking in March).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny nose, and irritated eyes.
For those looking to track historical data on tree pollen trends, accessing historical pollen count data can provide valuable insights for better allergy management.

2. What is Grass Pollen?

Grass pollen is a fine powdery substance grass plants produce to facilitate fertilization. It is a common airborne allergen that can trigger hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose in people with grass pollen allergies during the spring and summer.

Different Types of Grass Pollen

Different Types of Grass Pollen
Types of Grass Pollen

Here are different types of grass pollen and their characteristics:

  • Bermuda Pollen
    • Source: Released from Bermuda grass, a widely used lawn turfgrass belonging to the Cynodon dactylon genus.
    • Season: Summer months.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy, red, or watery eyes, itching in the nose, roof of the throat, postnasal drip, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, fatigue and irritability, sinus pressure, and swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes.
  • Johnson Pollen
    • Source: Released from Johnson grass, a tall perennial grass that belongs to the Sorghum genus.
    • Season: Varies by region but typically occurs during summer.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion, sore throat, coughing, wheezing, sinus pressure, skin rash, fatigue, headache, and swelling around the eyes.
  • Timothy Pollen
    • Source: Released from Timothy grass, widely used in pastures and hayfields, belonging to the Phleum genus.
    • Season: Late spring to summer (May to July).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy, red, or watery eyes, sore throat, coughing, wheezing, itchy skin, fatigue, headache, swollen blue-colored skin under the eyes, and sinus pressure.
  • Rye Pollen
    • Source: Released from ryegrass plants, often used for lawns and pasture, belonging to the Lolium genus.
    • Season: Varies by region but generally occurs in late spring and summer.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and respiratory issues.
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Pollen
    • Source: Released from Kentucky bluegrass, a popular turfgrass used in lawns, parks, and sports fields, belonging to the Poa genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (April to June).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, nose, or throat, watery, red, or swollen eyes, coughing, wheezing, asthma flare-ups, skin rashes, fatigue, headache, sinus pressure, and itchy skin.
  • Fescue Pollen
    • Source: Released from fescue grasses, commonly used in lawns and pastures, belonging to the Festuca genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer.
    • Symptoms: Causes nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose or throat, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, sinus pressure, headaches, fatigue, worsening of asthma symptoms, and skin rashes.
  • Orchard Pollen
    • Source: Released from orchard grass, commonly found in pastures and meadows, belonging to the Dactylis genus.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (May to July). 
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth, red, watery, or swollen eyes, postnasal drip, cough, fatigue, irritability, headache, wheezing, itchy throat, and dark circles under the eyes.
  • Sweet Vernal Pollen
    • Source: Released from sweet vernal grass, known for its scent, it is often found in grassy areas, belonging to the Anthoxanthum genus.
    • Season: Spring to early summer.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy nose, mouth, or throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, red or swollen eyes, coughing, difficulty breathing, asthma-like symptoms, skin rash, fatigue, headache, and sinus pressure.
  • Bahia Pollen
    • Source: Released from Bahia grass, a warm-season turfgrass, and belongs to the Paspalum genus.
    • Season: Summer months.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, redness of the eyes, itchy nose or throat, coughing, sinus pressure, fatigue, swelling around the eyes, and dark circles under the eyes.
  • Redtop Pollen
    • Source: Released from redtop grass, a perennial species belonging to the Agrostis genus.
    • Season: Late spring through the end of the summer.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, sore throat, coughing, wheezing, skin rash, fatigue, headache, sinus pressure, and throat irritation.
  • Corn Pollen
    • Source: Released from corn plants, widely cultivated for their edible kernels, belonging to the Zea genus.
    • Season: Summer months, coinciding with the corn pollination period.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and respiratory issues.
Understanding the distribution of these grass pollens can be simplified using a reliable pollen map, which provides real-time data on pollen levels in your area.

3. What is Weed Pollen?

Weed pollen refers to the microscopic grains released by male plants from various weed species during pollination. When inhaled or upon contact, these airborne allergens can trigger allergic reactions like hay fever, asthma attacks, and respiratory issues in sensitized individuals.

Different Types of Weed Pollen

Different Types of Weed Pollen
Types of Weed Pollen

Here are some common types of weed pollen and their characteristics:

  • Ragweed Pollen
    • Source: Released from ragweed plants, members of the Ambrosia genus.
    • Season: Late summer to early fall, with peak levels in mid-September.
    • Symptoms: Causes runny nose, stuffy nose, postnasal drip, sneezing, itchy nose, eyes, ears, and mouth, red and watery eyes, swelling around the eyes, moodiness, tiredness, and disturbed sleep.
  • Nettle Pollen
    • Source: Released from various species of the Urtica genus, commonly known as stinging nettles.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (May to September, peaking in June).
    • Symptoms: Causes itching, red rash, hives, swelling, burning sensation on the skin, tingling or numbness, blister formation, skin inflammation, erythema, and slight fever.
  • Dock Pollen
    • Source: Produced by plants in the Rumex genus, including various dock weed species.
    • Season: Late spring to early summer (May to August, peaking in June).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, nose, or throat, watery, red, or swollen eyes, skin rash, coughing, wheezing, headache, fatigue, and throat irritation.
  • Mugwort Pollen
    • Source: Released from plants in the Artemisia genus, which includes common mugwort and other related species.
    • Season: Late summer to early fall (June to September, peaking July to August).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes, and wheezing.
  • Plantain Pollen
    • Source: Produced by plants in the Plantago genus, which includes various plantain weed species.
    • Season: Late spring and early summer.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy nose, watery, red, or itchy eyes, sinus pressure, coughing, sore throat, scratchy throat and palate, wheezing, fatigue, and headache.
  • Pigweed Pollen
    • Source: Released from plants in the Amaranthus genus, which includes various pigweed species.
    • Season: Late spring to early fall.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, nose, or throat, watering eyes, red or swollen eyes, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, skin rash, headache, fatigue, and sinus pressure.
  • Tumbleweed Pollen (Russian Thistle)
    • Source: Produced by tumbleweed plants, also known as Russian thistle, belonging to the Salsola genus.
    • Season: Spring through late summer and early fall (July to September).
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, scratchy throat, coughing, sinus pressure, wheezing, skin rash, fatigue, headache, mouth and lips irritation.
  • Sagebrush Pollen
    • Source: Released from various sagebrush species belonging to the Artemisia genus.
    • Season: Late summer and early fall.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion, itchy throat, postnasal drip, coughing, wheezing, skin rash, fatigue, and headache.
  • Burning Bush Pollen
    • Source: Produced by the Euonymus Alatus plant, also known as the winged burning bush, belonging to the Kochia genus.
    • Season: Late spring and early summer.
    • Symptoms: Causes itchy skin, redness or inflammation of the skin, burning sensation, swelling, watery or itchy eyes, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and sore throat.
  • Cocklebur Pollen
    • Source: Released from plants in the Xanthium genus, which includes various cocklebur species.
    • Season: Late summer and early fall.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion, sore throat, coughing, sinus pressure, headache, fatigue, skin rash, and wheezing.
  • Lamb’s Quarters Pollen
    • Source: Produced by plants in the Chenopodium genus, which includes various lamb's quarters species.
    • Season: Late summer and early fall.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or itchy nose, nasal congestion, itchy or watery eyes, scratchy throat, coughing, wheezing, skin rash, sinus, headaches, fatigue, and dark circles under the eyes.
  • Goosefoot Pollen
    • Source: Released from plants in the Chenopodium genus, which includes various goosefoot species.
    • Season: July to October.
    • Symptoms: Causes sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, scratchy throat, coughing, asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, itchy skin, swelling around the eyes, fatigue, headaches, sinus pressure, and facial pain.
  • Pellitory Pollen
    • Source: Produced by plants in the Parietaria genus, which includes various pellitory species.
    • Season: Year-round in Southern Europe, April to September in Central and Northern Europe.
    • Symptoms: Causes nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy or runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, scratchy throat, sinus pressure, coughing, postnasal drip, fatigue, headaches, and difficulty breathing.
  • Sunflower Pollen
    • Source: Released from sunflower plants, which belong to the Helianthus genus.
    • Season: July to September.
    • Symptoms: Causes hay fever symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes.
  • Annual Mercury Pollen
    • Source: Produced by plants in the Mercurialis genus, which includes various annual mercury species.
    • Season: May to October.
    • Symptoms: Causes allergic rhinitis symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
  • Amaranth Pollen
    • Source: Released from plants in the Amaranthus genus, which includes various amaranth species.
    • Season: July to September.
    • Symptoms: Causes itchy skin, reddened or inflamed skin rashes, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, sore throat, wheezing, swelling of the face, lips, or eyes, anaphylaxis, and eczema.
  • Wormwood Pollen
    • Source: Produced by plants in the Artemisia genus, which includes various wormwood species.
    • Season: Late summer and early fall (August to October).
    • Symptoms: Causes skin rash, itching, swelling, nasal congestion, sneezing, watery or red eyes, difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis, headache, nausea, and fatigue.

Understanding the different types of pollen and their effects on human health is crucial for managing allergies effectively. Knowing the pollen types that trigger allergic reactions can help individuals take preventive measures and seek appropriate treatment during peak pollen seasons.

For real-time updates and to determine current pollen levels, check our pollen API, which offers up-to-date information on pollen types and concentrations.

Have questions?
Get in touch!
SUBMIT
Request submitted.
Our team will get in touch with you shortly!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.