What to give your Valentine – a low allergy guide!

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Valentine’s Day has almost arrived, and the first thing you might think of giving your loved one may well be a lovely bunch of flowers. Great idea, but what to do if your Valentine is an allergy sufferer? We’ve put together a low allergy guide to flowers to give you some pointers.

* Try to choose flowers containing little or no pollen, or pollen that is unlikely to become airborne

* Choose flowers with less scent, as they have less pollen

* Roses are fine, try to choose an unscented variety

* Orchids are nice too and safe for allergic people

* Err on the side of caution and remove stamen where possible – from Lilies, for example

* Consider giving a plant instead – succulents and cactus are perfect for people with allergies. Avoid wind-pollinated plants, as they are responsible for most allergies (they have small, often unnoticeable flowers).

* You could always play it completely safe and give your Valentine a beautiful bunch of artificial flowers, which will also be longer lasting

Most of the really bold, striking colourful cut flowers that you find in gift bouquets are pollinated by insects. The pollen of these flowers is usually heavy, which means it doesn’t float around in the air, making them ideal for allergy sufferers – although the pollen can get broken up in to smaller grains which then become airborne.

Some people can also be allergic to the pollen of cut flowers, like lilies, which are also insect-pollinated. Some lilies like the Calla Lily have a thick stamen coated in yellow pollen. If you pull this out before giving them to your Valentine then it will be safe for her to enjoy.

Red Rose Heart roses

These Flowers contain little or no pollen:

* Daffodils

* Tulips

* Geraniums

* Poppies

* Orchids

* Roses

The Classic Romantic flower, the Rose has pollen that is often too large and heavy to become airborne, making them the ideal flower to give as a gift this Valentine’s day. Orchids carry very little pollen, and come in a variety of colours and sizes.

Flowers to avoid if you are allergic are:

* Daisies

* Chysanthemums

* Jasmine

* Sunflowers

These flowers all contain a lot of pollen. Jasmine is also a very fragrant flower and should be kept away from windows and entrances. Blossom is also one to avoid as these rely on wind pollination.

The WebMD site also has some useful information about which flowers and plants are best for allergic people.


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