If birdsong and the color green make you reach immediately for a box of tissues, you’re not alone: 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies in the spring.
Here’s a handy guide to the most common allergens by region, from the mountains to the prairies, so you can find out what plants to avoid or discover an allergy-friendly safe haven.
Knoxville, Tenn., topped the list of the worst cities for spring allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Louisville, Ky., and Jackson, Miss., followed close behind. In this allergy unfriendly region, grasses like bermuda, saltgrass and Bahia that pollinate year-round.
Watch out for orchard, redtop, fescue and timothy-grasses from May through October.
Common allergy-inducing trees like elm and oak flower in this region from March to June. Watch out for hemp and ragweed later in the season.
Spring allergy season starts early on the West Coast, where trees like cedar, walnut and rye start flowering in February.
This part of the country has a relatively short allergy season, as trees like cedar, maple, and oak only pollinate from March to May. Denver, Colo., might be a fun, allergy-friendly destination.
The grass season in the Southwest lasts from April to September. Cedar, elm and oak trees start blooming in January and end in June.
Beware of sneeze-inducing weeds with interesting names like careless weed, iodine bush and lamb’s-quarters between March and December.