Yesterday, Thursday August 18, was warm and spring-like here in Melbourne and I'm sure a few people will have experienced some hay fever. It was windy too and the count, 539 pollen grains per cubic metre, shows that the air was also heaving with pollen. Although the wattles are flowering profusely at the moment, there was no wattle pollen at all on the slide and most of the pollen was instead from conifers such as pine and cypress. Personally I think wattles are unfairly blamed for allergies at this time of year. Their bright yellow flowers draw the eye but it is often the pollen of other, less showy plants that is the real cause of the problems. These plants include exotic trees such as birch and ash and although we didn't see any of their pollen yesterday either, they'll be flowering soon and I'll be sure to let you know when it is around.
Today's picture shows pine and cypress pollen. Pine pollen has a main body and two laterally placed air-filled sacs, which help the pollen grain to float on the wind.