Conservation Corner: A flowering fall guy for autumn allergies


How many of you can feel your sinuses beginning to drip and your eyes getting misty just by glancing across a field awash with the yellow ubiquitous blooms of goldenrod? Nearly every section of the landscape not cultivated, mowed, or forested teems with thousands of goldenrod plants, and with all those flowers producing copious amounts of pollen, your worst autumn allergic reactions have probably already begun. Sound familiar?

I’ve heard conversations this time of year among allergy sufferers in the grocery store aisle as they debate what pill or potion might cure their symptoms caused by goldenrod. When I worked for a large park district, visitors and students avoided the trails near large stands of the plant for fear of tearing up. Even members of my own family wonder how, with my own susceptibility to seasonal allergies, I can walk through fields of the flowers with virtually no ill effects.

Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret … Goldenrod isn’t the cause of your fall allergies. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but the overwhelming majority of those reading this could…