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science, health & technology

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The Caribbean evergreen forest and its long archaeological record

Elephant grass in bloom

Elephant grass in bloom

The good news for people with "hay fever" allergies who are relocating here from North America is that we don't have goldenrod or ragweed problems. Unfortunately we do have elephant grass (paja canalera), which was brought to Panama from Southeast Asia in the 1950s to control erosion along the banks of the Panama Canal and quickly became an obnoxious invasive weed. When its white flowers start to release pollen, a lot of people start to sneeze. This, the height of rainy season, is also a time of many mold spores that irritate some folks with allergies. Photo and Photoshop manipulation by Eric Jackson



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