Some pollination misconceptions

David R. Hershey dh321 at
Tue Feb 3 23:59:08 EST 2004

""William E. Williams"" <WEWilliams at
<mailto:WEWilliams at>> wrote in message <news:<bvpmaf$j3q$1 at>>...
> At 12:19 AM +0000 2/4/04, David R. Hershey wrote:
> >Given the recent discussion of pollination, here's a list of some
> >misconceptions on the topic.
> ...
> >4. Despite what is often shown in commercials for allergy medicines,
> >large, colorful flowers rarely cause pollen allergies or hayfever
> >because their pollen is sticky for animal pollination. Wind-pollinated
> >flowers that cause hayfever include certain grasses, certain deciduous
> >trees, certain pines and certain others such as ragweeds, pigweeds and
> >Plantago spp.
> Have you got some references for allergenic pine pollen? I've been 
> telling my students all these years that the yellow scum that coats 
> their cars, the surfaces of our campus ponds, and practically 
> everything else during pine pollen-release season is NOT the same 
> thing that's causing them to sneeze. (I tell them it's probably 
> grasses, because that's sure as Hell what makes ME sneeze in the 
> spring!) I'd always heard (though I can't quote a source) that pine 
> pollen was hardly ever allergenic, and if I'm going to have to eat my 
> words I'd like to find a reference. Of course *somebody* is allergic 
> to practically anything you can name -- even starch according to some 
> of my acquaintances, though how Darwin permitted this to happen is 
> beyond me...
> -W2
> -- 
> William E. Williams <MailTo:WEWilliams at <mailto:WEWilliams at>>
> Biology Department
> Saint Mary's College of Maryland
> 18952 E Fisher Road
> Saint Marys City, MD 20686-3001
> Voice: (240)895-4365
> FAX: (240)895-4996
> ---

Pine pollen allergies may not be common but apparently occur according
to David Fountain. Maybe that should be another misconception by itself.
Many people seem to think pine pollen gets blamed more than it should
but maybe it is guilty. More pine pollen research may be required.  

Fountain says he has studied allergens in Pinus radiata:

Fountain's Feb. 2002 Biologist article mentions that transgenic pine
will lack allergenicity:

Fountain lists Pinus radiata in his Pollen calendar:

David Hershey

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