The one thing you don’t want
with wedding flowers is pollen! With wedding flowers very
little pollen is good, and no pollen at all is by far the best.
Daises: For starters I would avoid using most of the daisy-related type flowers, daisies, gerbera,
chrysanthemums, asters, dahlias, and sunflowers unless you know they're pollen-free ones. There
actually are quite a few chrysanthemums, dahlias and asters that are called formal doubles and that
have no pollen. All of these formal doubled flowers will be ones with a very high number of petals
per flower. What has happened with these flowers is that they have been hybridized so often that
the pollen parts (the stamens) have turned into parts that now look more like petals (staminoids).
All true formal double flowers will be pollen free.
Goldenrod flowers (bright yellow) are often used as fillers in arrangements and goldenrod is
a daisy-ragweed relative and will shed plenty of allergenic pollen. Don’t use goldenrod!
Baby’s breath is a popular wedding flower, again, often used as filler between other larger
flowers. Baby’s breath is grown and sold as single or double flowered. If you use baby's breath,
use only the doubled flowered types.
Roses: Florist type hybrid tea roses that are still in a closed bud stage and
that are not especially fragrant are excellent choices and will shed no pollen. If using
roses picked from the garden, choose only those roses with healthy green leaves, and pick
roses that are still in the bud to half-open stages. Some free-flowering garden roses, such
as the beautiful pale pink ‘Cecile Brunner’ roses, are always allergy-free and produce no
pollen at all. The Banksia roses, which will be either yellow or white, are small, cute, come
in dense sprays, and are also pollen free.
Pots of blooming hydrangeas, especially of the old-fashioned Hydrangea macrophylla type,
are mostly pollen-free and are good choices to use. Pots of blooming double tuberous
begonias, especially all the erect type cultivars, almost all of these are great, very large,
colorful flowers and pollen-free. The fancy flowered begonias called ‘Reigers’ begonias are
also pollen free and come in bright colors or white, yellow, red, salmon, and pink.
Lilies of all types can often now be purchased
that are either simply pollen-free flowers, or else
someone (who doesn't have allergies), can carefully remove the brown pollen-bearing anthers
on the tip of each of the six stamens in each regular lily.... watch this pollen as it will
also easily stain your wedding clothes, especially anything white. Lilies that have had the
anthers removed will be completely pollen free. ** A caution here though: sap from any and
all kinds of lilies can cause a very nasty, long-lasting itchy skin rash…certainly nothing
any bride would want on her honeymoon! With this in mind, watch out for the sap of all lilies
and of Alstromeria too. Also, it would not be a good idea for a bride to even carry a bouquet
of lilies, certainly not if she has skin that is in the least bit sensitive. Anyone helping
with the wedding would be wise not to stick their hands into the water in which the lilies
have been standing, as this water will have the sap in it.
Camellias: Camellias come in bright white, red, or pink colors and few flowers are
more beautiful than nice camellias, however they are not easy to buy from florists. Still, a
gardener friend may have some you could use if the season is right…spring and fall. If you
can find them, there are many nice fully doubled, formal double type camellias that are
pollen-free. These camellias will look fabulous floating in small bowls of water on
Orchids: Very few orchids cause any pollen allergies and it is now possible to buy
small pots of beautiful blooming orchids at quite reasonable prices. Occasionally there is
some skin rash associated with orchids, so watch any and all sap from cut flowers. Individual
orchids should have their stems in small tubes of water.
Although certainly not indoor plants,
pots of growing pansy, viola, and impatiens also can look
terrific and they are all very low allergy potential flowering plants. In California or
Florida it might be possible to get large sprays of bougainvillea flowers. These now come in
many colors, including bright white. Double bougainvillea flowers will have no pollen at all,
and even the more typical types of bougainvillea will shed next to no pollen. Bougainvillea
flowers are good too for using around perfume sensitive people, as they have next to no
the wedding is to be held on a lawn, or if the reception afterwards is, I'd suggest that the
lawn be mowed two to three days ahead of time, and that a lawn mower with a really good grass
catcher be used.