Learn more about pollen - Cypress Pine

Cypress Pine (Species, Cupressus sp. and Callitris sp.; Family, Cupressaceae)

Densely branched tree or shrub with male and female cones. There are over 20 species of the introduced Cypress (Cupressus sp.) planted in and around Canberra. The native Cypress pine (Callitris sp.) is also found in gardens and in fire protected areas such as the Molongolo Gorge. They are wind-pollinated and produce copious amounts of pollen during July to December.

White Cypress (Murray) Pine (Callitris glaucophylla) is one of the few Australian trees that produces highly allergenic pollen. Its growth extends from the western slopes and plains of Eastern Australia, but it can be found planted in and around Canberra.

The pollen from introduced Cupressus sp. has been widely reported to cause winter conjunctivitis, rhinitis, and asthma in various parts of the world and is becoming a major health problem in some northern hemisphere Mediterranean countries.

Distribution of Cupressaceae (left: Callitris glaucophylla; right: Cupressaceae) from Atlas of Living Australia occurence maps





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Learn more about pollen - Pine trees

Pine (Species, Pinus sp.; Family, Pinaceae)

There are a diverse range of Pine trees planted in and around Canberra with over 20 species found in gardens and more extensiveparklands and plantations. They are wind-pollinated and produce copious amounts of pollen during August to November when "dust clouds" of pollen can be seen blowing from the trees or settling in ponds and pools leaving a distinctive yellow "smear" on the surface. 

The pollen grains are large with a wing structure that facilitates long-distance dispersal on windy days. Pine pollen allergies are similar to other pollen allergies, and many people with pine pollen allergy are also allergic to grass pollen.

Distribution of Pinus sp. (Atlas of Living Australia occurence map)


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Learn more about pollen before the hay fever season starts in Canberra

Almost 1 in 6 people in Canberra suffer from hay fever. One way of understanding how best to cope with hay fever is to learn more about pollen before the season starts.

At the moment the main allergenic pollen in the air come from the introduced cypress, ash and pine trees. Overall, the pasture grasses and weeds are the worst offenders. These include perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne), couch or Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) and many others. There is also increasing recognition of the importance of other exotic plants such as silver birch and olive trees in and around Canberra.

Prof Simon Haberle of the @CanberraPollen team, in collaboration with the Australian Pollen Allergen Partnership (APAP), recently produced the first Australasian Pollen Calendar based on historic data generated in major cities across Australia and New Zealand (read more here: http://goo.gl/G9lJzQ). The research highlights the strong climatic controls on allergenic pollen seasons and the need for better coordination between researchers, governments and health departments in order to improve the public health outcomes for sufferes of hay fever and other respiratory related disease.

Over the next week @CanberraPollen will show you which pollen types cause hay fever in the Canberra region and when they are most prevalent in the air.



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