Hay Fever Spike: These are the best flowers for hay fever sufferers according to experts

This summer the UK has been hit by a ‘pollen bomb’ causing millions of hay fever sufferers worse symptoms than usual and new data reveals half (49%) of UK adults are currently affected.

With this rapid increase in sufferers, Interflora have provided a helpful guide to hay fever friendly flowers. Whether buying for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, you can still enjoy beautiful flowers and avoid irritating symptoms.

Go lily free

Vicky Salmon, head florist at Interflora’s top tip is shopping lily free. ‘Lilly free bouquets allow us to still enjoy beautiful blooms whilst avoiding irritating pollen. 

Lilies are regarded as the worst flowers for hay fever sufferers due to the high pollen count within their stamen. Whilst the stamen can be cut to reduce the effect of the pollen we recommend avoiding them altogether if you suffer from allergies.

The pollen within lillies is also harmful to animals, making lily-free bouquet options pet-safe and ideal as a gift for those with four-legged friends.

Top six hayfever friendly flowers

Antirrhinum (Snapdragons)

This traditional favourite is a safe choice for hay fever sufferers as the tightly closed buds minimise the release of pollen. 

These blooms provide nectar for bumble bees who are one of the few insects that are able to ‘open’ the flower. Antirrhinums will also add height to any design – arrange them with round-headed summer blooms to create a gorgeous display for your mantelpiece.   

Peony

You’ll be pleased to know that the large, luxurious taffeta-like flower heads of the peony will give you the joys of the season without setting off the sneezes! 

This insta-worthy bloom is a reliable choice as it is pollinated by insects rather than the wind.

Roses

The national flower of England and the world’s favourite bloom! This classic beauty can be enjoyed by all as roses only release small amounts of pollen into the air. With a huge range of colours and varieties, this symbol of love is the perfect choice to send to hay fever sufferers. Top tip – opt for the tight budded varieties to further minimise pollen exposure.

Gladiolus

Another safe choice this season is gladioli. They originate from South Africa and are said to symbolise generosity. This bloom’s pollen is thick and sticky, meaning they are commonly pollinated by bees, rather than the wind. The tall stems come in a wide range of beautiful colours and will certainly brighten any home or garden.

Astrantia

A pretty, delicate star-shaped flower that will add texture to any bouquet, making it a very popular choice for spring and summer weddings. Astrantia was first cultivated in Britain in the 16th century and became a cottage garden favourite, which can also be found growing in the wild. The great news is they rate low on the allergy scale, so there’s no need to be afraid of that hay fever headache.

Hydrangea

These stunning blooms are also insect-pollinated, making them another safe option this summer. Hydrangeas come in shades of blue, pink and white and are said to carry the meaning, ‘thank you for understanding’. Did you know, their dried leaves are used to make a sweet tea called Ama-cha in Japan, which is prepared each year to celebrate Buddha’s birthday?   

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