Wind-Pollinated Plants

Updated February 21, 2017

While most flowers are colourful and fragrant to attract insects that transfer pollen to start their reproduction process, some plants use the wind. Wind-pollinated plants do not require interaction with insects such as bees or butterflies, which may not be present in adverse conditions. The wind is a more consistent pollinator for many some plants.

Wind-pollinated Flowers

Don't look for large, brightly coloured flowers from a wind-pollinated plant. All that show is to attract bees and other insects. The flower of a wind-pollinated plant is likely to be green with no petals. The absence of petals allows better wind access to the pistil and stamen of the flower, so the wind-carried pollen has easier access.

The Pollen

It's a numbers game for the wind-pollinated plants. They produce more pollen than the insect-pollinated plants in hopes that little bit blows the way of a female flower. The plant expends the majority of its reproductive energy on the pollen, rather than the flower or fragrance.

Common Wind-pollinated Plants

Wind-pollinated plants surround us every day. Most grasses and pine trees are wind pollinated, along with several of the species of hardwood trees. Many plants that we think of as weeds are also wind pollinated. Basically, if it doesn't produce a showy flower it is probably a wind-pollinated plant.

Health Issues

People afflicted with allergies to pollen have serious problems with the wind-pollinated plants. The high volume of pollen these plants, like ragweed, produce can pose a serious problem for allergy suffers. Not only does the wind-pollinated plant produce more pollen than other plant types, it broadcasts it into the air where allergy sufferers breath it in.

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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.