Pollen is a powdery, dusty substance found on the anthers of flowering plants (at the tip of thin stalks in the center of the flower), and in the cones of cone-bearing plants, such as cedar trees. Plants such as weeds, trees, and grasses release pollen. The pollen drifts to another plant of the same kind, fertilizing it so new seeds can develop and scatter, creating more plants! This process is called pollination.
Different types of plants pollinate at different times of the year! Trees pollinate in late winter and spring. Grasses pollinate in late spring and summer. Weeds pollinate in late summer and fall.
Sometimes pollen is carried by creatures like insects and hummingbirds when the pollen sticks to their fuzz or feathers. Pollen is then transferred to another plant of the same kind when the creature lands in a different area. Colorful, fragrant flowers are often pollinated this way.
Other types of plants, such as cone-bearing trees, are pollinated when the wind carries pollen from one plant to another. The pollen from these plants often causes allergies! Pollen may make you sneeze, but it is necessary for pollen to travel from place to place! After all, new plants could not sprout without it!