Yellow 'fever' . . . A car covered in pollen in Dunedin
yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter
A warm, dry winter has meant an early pollen season
and its resulting headaches and sniffles.
The city appears to be covered in a yellow layer as pine and
birch trees send out vast quantities of pollen.
University of Otago pollination botanist Dr Janice Lord said
the pollen season was earlier and more intense this year
because of the mild winter and was more noticeable because of
the lack of rain to wash it away.
The culprits in the city were mostly pine and birch trees
although native conifers were also fruiting early, she said.
While the increase in pollination could lead to bumper
fertilisation, that could change if the city was hit by a
cold spell before the fruit matured, as it could drop.
Pharmacists spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday had
mostly noticed an increase in sales of antihistamine tablets
and sprays in recent weeks.
Some had noticed sales of such products had continued during
winter, usually a down time for such products.