You will have observed a whole lot of fluffy white cotton balls floating round Metro Vancouver currently. And whereas they appear innocent, they will result in disastrous outcomes for allergy victims.
These fluff balls, truly referred to as Black Cottonwood, are widespread on wetter websites within the Pacific Northwest — akin to alongside rivers or streams. Most of those native timber flower and fruit within the spring, in keeping with Dr. Elizabeth Elle, a professor within the Division of Organic Science at Simon Fraser College.
She went on to clarify that the cottony hairs which are blowing round now encompass the seeds inside fruits. When these fruits break up open, the fluff will get transported by the wind.
“Mainly the fluffy stuff acts the identical means because the little parachutes on dandelion seeds do to assist unfold the offspring of the tree to quite lengthy distances,” stated Elle. “It’s the fluffy hairs that some persons are allergic to — these little hairs get in our eyes or our noses and trigger itchiness and sneezing.”
That is completely different from pollen throughout allergy season.
“It’s the pollen from the flowers of the Purple Alder that blows across the wind usually in early spring, round March, earlier than the leaves are out, and irritates our eyes and noses,” stated Dr. Ellen.
Alder seeds are hardly ever observed by anybody and are launched in fall.
As for you attempting to flee it, that’s arduous to do. However the excellent news is that the fluff doesn’t blow round too lengthy. Often, inside per week or two, all of the little seeds have been despatched out into the world and we’re freed from cottonwood fluff for an additional yr.
Editor’s be aware: This text was initially revealed in Might 2020