Botanical Food Family List

Sometimes people with a food/plant allergy can be sensitive to foods/plants in the same botanical group. People with peanut allergy may be sensitive to other legumes. Birch / apple family allergies cross-reactivity is pretty common. People with latex sensitivity may also be sensitive to some foods. As always, check with your medical practitioner before making major diet changes. Dietitians are an underused resource!

On this page: FAQs, Dr. Ham Pong’s list of food/plant cross-reactions and 2 lists of common foods and the botanical family to which they belong: Common foods by food name and Common foods by food family.
The list comes from the now defunct Allergy/Asthma Association of Alberta. Their source was not listed.


  • Nutmeg, litchi nuts, coconut are not usually included as a “tree nut” for folks with tree nut allergies. If you’re not sure, get tested. Water Chestnuts are not a nut, they are part of the sedge family (a vegetable) – Cyperaceae Eleocharis dulcis (Burman f.) Trin. ex Henschel.
  • Peanuts are part of the legume (bean) family and grown in the ground. It is not a “tree nut”.
  • People with peanut allergy are not necessarily allergic to tree nuts (e.g., walnuts) although they may be counselled to avoid all nuts due to the possibility of cross-contamination in processing or packaging.
  • Peanut Oil made in the heat treated process such as Planter’s Peanut Oil is generally regarded as safe for people with peanut allergy. However, cold pressed peanut oil, commonly used in Asian cooking are NOT safe for those with peanut allergy.
  • Nut oils, other than peanut oil as described above, must be avoided by people with allergy to those nuts.
  • The Lily family is often used in products with fragrances.
  • A sensitivity to wool can cause problems with products containing lanolin such as lip balms and lipsticks, hand lotion, bath products, soaps and other beauty products. Some vendors such as The Body Shop can provide an ingredient list.
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), according to the book “Hard to Swallow – the Truth About Food Additives” is not currently considered a food additive. It’s usually made up of soy protein broken down into amino acids- one of which is glutamic acid. This amino acid is the main ingredient for MSG (monosodium glutamate). HVP may contain up to 40% MSG.
  • Corn is in practically everything under a variety of names -glucose, dextrose, food starch, etc.
  • Medications also have non-medicinal ingredients including milk.

    Cross-Reactions between Trees and Foods – Oral Allergy Syndrome - AAIA Quarterly Volume 29 Fall 1993, Dr. Ham Pong

    “Oral Allergy Syndrome” — allergy to a pollen triggers itching of the mouth when related foods are eaten. See Oral Allergy article on Articles page.

    Foods associated with BIRCH pollen allergy: apple family (apple, pear), Plum family (almond, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, plum, prune), Parsley family (carrot, celery, fennel, parsley, parsnip), Walnut.

    Foods associated with RAGWEED pollen allergy: banana, melons.

    Foods associated with GRASS pollen allergy: melons, orange, tomato.

    Foods associated with MUGWORT (Artemisia vulgaris) pollen allergy: – apple, carrot, celery, melons

    Webmaster insert – not part of original list but relevant.
    Latex allergy is associated with sensitivity to foods: HIGH – bananas, chestnuts, avocados; MODERATE: apple, carrot, celery, tomato, kiwi, papaya, potato, melon. Others are low or undetermined.
    Reference: Greer Laboratories, Inc. TM Allergy Update, Fall 1995.

    There are some interesting facts about the foods that trigger Oral Allergy Syndrome:

    1. the allergy factor which links the pollens and the foods is not that of being related by botanical family;
    2. raw foods are more apt to cause a reaction than cooked foods. Storage also decreases allergenicity
    3. some varieties of the same fruit, e.g., apple, may be tolerated
    4. not due to chemical, insecticides
    5. allergy tests may be negative unless fresh food extract is used
    6. most often seen in adults and is not usually outgrown

List of Foods by Food Name

Abalone —–Mollusks
Absinthe —–Composite Family (Aster)
Acacia Gum —–Legumes Family
Alfalfa ——Legumes Family
Allspice ——Myrtle Family
Almond ——Plum Family Angelica —–Parsley Family
Angostura —–Citrus Family
Anise —–Parsley Family
Apple Cider —–Rose Family – Apple Family
Apple Pectin —–Rose Family – Apple Family
Apple Vinegar —–Rose Family – Apple Family
Apple —–Rose Family – Apple Family
Apricot ——Plum Family
Arabic ——Legumes Family
Arrowroot —–Arrowroot Family
Arrowroot —–Ginger Family
Artichoke —–Composite Family (Aster)
Artichoke, Jerusalem —-Composite Family (Aster)
Asparagus —–Lily Family
Avocado —–Laurel Family
Bamboo Shoots —–Cereals Family
Banana Pepper —–Nightshade Family
Banana ——Banana Family
Barley ——Cereals Family
Barley, Malt —–Cereals Family
Basil ——Mint Family
Bass ——Fresh Water Fish
Bass ——Salt Water Fish
Bay Leaves —–Laurel Family
Beet, Sugar —–Goosefoot (Beet) Family
Bell Pepper —–Nightshade Family
Blackberry —–Rose Family
Black-eyed pea —–Legumes Family
Blueberry —–Heath Family
Borage – Borage family
Boysenberry —–Rose Family
Bran ——Cereals Family
Brandy ——Grape Family
Brazil Nut —–Brazil Nut Family
Breadfruit —–Mulberry Family
Brinjal ——Nightshade Family
Broccoli ——Mustard Family
Brussel Sprouts —–Mustard Family
Buckwheat —–Buckwheat Family
Butternut —–Walnut Family
Cabbage ——Mustard Family
Cactus ——Cactus Family
Chamomile —–Composite Family (Aster)
Camphor —–Laurel Family
Cane ——Cereals Family

Cane, Sugar —–Cereals Family
Cantaloupe —– Gourd Family (Melon)
Capers ——Capers Family
Capsicum —–Nightshade Family
Caraway ——Parsley Family
Cardamon —–Ginger Family
Carob (St. John’s Bread) —-Legumes Family
Carob ——Legumes Family
Carrots ——Parsley Family

Casaba ——Gourd Family (Melon)
Cashew ——Cashew Family
Cassia ——Legumes Family
Catfish ——Fresh Water Fish
Cauliflower —–Mustard Family
Cayenne ——Nightshade Family
Celeriac ——Parsley Family
Celery Cabbage —–Mustard Family
Celery Seed —–Parsley Family
Celery ——Parsley Family
Celtuse ——Composite Family
(Aster) Champagne —–Grape Family
Chard ——Goosefoot (Beet) Family
Cherry ——Plum Family
Chestnut, Ling nut —-Cereals Family
Chestnut, Singhara nut —-Cereals Family
Chestnut, Water —–Cereals Family
Chick Pea —–Legumes Family
Chicory ——Composite Family (Aster)
Chili Pepper —–Nightshade Family
Chinese Cabbage —–Mustard Family
Chives ——Lily Family
Chocolate (Cocoa) —-Stercula Family
Cinnamon —–Laurel Family
Citrange ——Citrus Family
Citron ——Citrus Family
Clam ——Mollusks
Cloves ——Myrtle Family
Cocoa ——Stercula Family
Coconut ——Palm Family
Cod ——Salt Water Fish
Cola Bean —–Stercula Family
Collard ——Mustard Family
Colza Shoots —–Mustard Family
Coriander —–Parsley Family
Corn cerelose —–Cereals Family
Corn dextrose —–Cereals Family
Corn glucose —–Cereals Family
Corn Meal —–Cereals Family
Corn Oil ——Cereals Family
Corn Starch —–Cereals Family
Corn Sugar —–Cereals Family
Corn syrup —–Cereals Family
Corn ——Cereals Family
Cottonseed Meal —–Mallow Family
Cottonseed Oil —–Mallow Family
Crab ——Crustaceans
Cranberry —–Heath Family
Crayfish ——Crustaceans
Crème of Tartar —–Grape Family
Croaker ——Fresh Water Fish
Cucumber —–Gourd Family (Melon)
Cumin ——Parsley Family
Currant ——Gooseberry Family
Curry Powder —–Not one spice, is a blend of spices

Dandelion —–Composite Family (Aster)
Dasheen ——Arum Family
Date ——Palm Family
Dewberry —–Rose Family
Dill ——Parsley Family
Eggplant —–Nightshade Family
Elderberry —–Honeysuckle Family
Endive ——Composite Family (Aster)
Escarole ——Composite Family (Aster)
Eucalyptus —–Myrtle Family
Farina ——Cereals Family
Fennel ——Parsley Family
Field Pea —–Legumes Family
Fig ——Mulberry Family
Filbert ——Birch Family
Flaxseed —– Flax
Flounder —–Salt Water Fish
Garden Sorrel —–Buckwheat Family
Garlic ——Lily Family
Ginger ——Ginger Family
Gluten flour —–Cereals Family
Gooseberry —–Gooseberry Family
Graham flour —–Cereals Family
Grape ——Grape Family
Grapefruit —–Citrus Family
Green Bean —–Legumes Family
Green Pea —–Legumes Family
Green Pepper —–Nightshade Family
Ground Cherry —–Nightshade Family
Guava ——Myrtle Family
Guar Gum – Legume family
Gum Guaiac —–Cochliospermum Family
Gum Karaya —–Cochliospermum Family
Hazelnut —–Birch Family
Head Lettuce —–Composite Family (Aster)
Herring ——Salt Water Fish
Hickory Nut —–Walnut Family
Honey Dew —–Gourd Family (Melon)
Honey ——Miscellaneous
Hop ——Mulberry Family
Horehound —–Mint Family
Horse Radish —–Mustard Family
Huckleberry —–Heath Family
Jack bean —–Legumes Family
Jicama ——Morning Glory Family
Juniper ——Pine Family
Kale ——Mustard Family
Karaya Gum —–Legumes Family
Kidney bean —–Legumes Family
Kiwi ——Actinidiaceace Family
Kochia ——Goosefoot (Beet) Family
Kohlrabi ——Mustard Family
Kraut ——Mustard Family
Kumquat —–Citrus Family

Lambs Quarters —–Goosefoot (Beet) Family
Laurel ——Laurel Family
Leaf Lettuce —–Composite Family
(Aster) Leek ——Lily Family
Lemon ——Citrus Family
Lentil ——Legumes Family
Lettuce ——Composite Family (Aster)
Licorice ——Legumes Family
Lima bean —–Legumes Family
Lime ——Citrus Family
Linseed —– Flax
Litchi Nut – Litchi Family
Lobster ——Crustaceans
Locust Bean Gum —-Legumes Family
Loganberry —–Rose Family
Mace ——Nutmeg Family
Mackerel —–Salt Water Fish
Mango ——Cashew Family
Maple Sugar —–Maple Family
Maple Syrup —–Maple Family
Marjoram —–Mint Family
Mate ——Holly Family
Millet ——Cereals Family
Mint ——Mint Family
Molasses (Cane) —–Cereals Family
Mulberry —–Mulberry Family
Mullet ——Salt Water Fish
Mungo Bean —–Legumes Family
Mushroom —–Fungus Family
Muskmelon —–Gourd Family
(Melon) Mussel ——Mollusks
Mustard Greens —–Mustard Family
Mustard ——Mustard Family
Navy Bean —–Legumes Family
Nectarine —–Plum Family
Nutmeg ——Nutmeg Family
Oats ——Cereals Family
Okra ——Mallow Family
Olive, and oil —–Olive Family
Onion ——Lily Family
Orange ——Citrus Family
Oregano ——Mint Family
Oyster Plant, Salsify —-Composite Family (Aster)
Oyster ——Mollusks

Palm Cabbage —–Palm Family
Papain, Papaya——Pawpaw Family
Paprika ——Myrtle Family
Paprika ——Nightshade Family
Parsley ——Parsley Family
Parsnips ——Parsley Family
Patent Flour —–Cereals Family
Pawpaw ——Pawpaw Family
Peach ——Plum Family
Peanut oil —–Legumes Family
Peanut ——Legumes Family
Pear ——Rose Family – Apple Family
Pecan ——Walnut Family
Pepper, Black —–Pepper Family
Pepper, White —–Pepper Family
Peppermint —–Mint Family
Perch ——Fresh Water Fish
Persian Melon —–Gourd Family (Melon)
Persimmon —–Ebony Family
Pike ——Fresh Water Fish
Pimento ——Myrtle/Nightshade Family
Pineapple —–Pineapple Family
Pinion Nut —–Pine Family
Pinto Bean —–Legumes Family
Pistachio —–Cashew Family
Plantain ——Banana Family
Plum ——Plum Family
Poi ——Arum Family
Pomegranate —–Pomegranate Family
Poppy seed —–Poppy Family
Potato ——Nightshade Family
Prawns ——Crustaceans
Prickly Pear —–Cactus Family
Prune Plum —–Plum Family
Pumpkin —–Gourd Family (Melon)
Quince ——Rose Family – Apple Family

Radish ——Mustard Family
Raisin ——Grape Family
Raspberry —–Rose Family
Red Pepper —–Nightshade Family
Rhubarb ——Buckwheat Family
Rice ——Cereals Family
Rosemary —–Mint Family
Rutabaga —–Mustard Family
Rye ——Cereals Family
Saffron ——Iris Family
Sage ——Mint Family
Sago ——Palm Family
Salmon ——Fresh Water Fish
Salmon ——Salt Water Fish
Sassafras —–Laurel Family
Savory ——Mint Family
Savoury ——Mint Family
Scallop ——Mollusks
Sesame Seed Oil —–Composite Family (Aster)
Shrimp ——Crustaceans
Smelt ——Fresh Water Fish
Sorghum —–Cereals Family
Soybean —–Legumes Family
Soybean flour —–Legumes Family
Soybean Lecithin —–Legumes Family
Soybean oil —–Legumes Family
Sparsparilla —–Lily Family
Spearmint —–Mint Family
Spinach ——Goosefoot (Beet) Family
Split Pea ——Legumes Family
Squash ——Gourd Family (Melon)
Squid ——Mollusks
Strawberry —–Rose Family
String Bean —–Legumes Family
Sugar (Beet) —–Goosefoot (Beet) Family
Sugar (Cane) —–Cereals Family
Sunflower and Seeds —-Composite Family (Aster)
Sunflower Oil —–Composite Family (Aster)
Sweet Cicily —–Parsley Family
Sweet Pepper —–Nightshade Family
Sweet Potato —–Morning Glory Family
Tabasco ——Nightshade Family
Talca Gum —–Legumes Family
Tamarind —–Legumes Family
Tangerine —–Citrus Family
Tapioca ——Spurge Family
Taro ——Arum Family
Tea ——Tea Family
Tequila ——Cactus family
Thistle ——Goosefoot (Beet) Family
Thorn Apple —–Nightshade Family
Thyme ——Mint Family
Tobacco ——Nightshade Family
Tomato ——Nightshade Family
Tonka bean —–Legumes Family
Tragancanth Gum —-Legumes Family
Trout ——Fresh Water Fish
Turmeric – Ginger Family
Turnips ——Mustard Family

Urd Flour —–Legumes Family
Vanilla ——Orchid Family
Vegetable Marrow —-Gourd Family (Melon)
Vermouth (Pyrethrum) —-Composite Family (Aster)
Vermouth (Ragweed) —-Composite Family (Aster)
Vermouth —–Composite Family (Aster)
Walnut – Black —–Walnut Family
Walnut – English —–Walnut Family
Water Celery —–Parsley Family
Water Melon —–Gourd Family (Melon)
Waterchestnut (Chinese) – Cyperaceae Family (Sedge)
Watercress —–Mustard Family
Wheat (whole) flour —-Cereals Family
Wheat flour —–Cereals Family
Wheat Germ —–Cereals Family
Wheat ——Cereals Family
Whitefish —–Fresh Water Fish
Wild Rice —–Cereals Family
Wine Vinegar —–Grape Family
Wine ——Grape Family
Wintergreen —–Heath Family
Yam ——Morning Glory Family
Yarrow ——Composite Family (Aster)
Yeast/Antibiotics —–Fungus Family
Youngberry —–Rose Family

List of Foods by Food Family
(Family name is in BOLD print)

Quick links:

Birch Legume (Beans/Peas)
Lily Mint
Mustard Nightshade

Actinidiaceace: Kiwi

Apple Family – Rose Family NOTE: Strongly related to Birch family
(The apple family is part of the bigger rose family)
Apple, Apple Cider, Apple Vinegar, Apple Pectin, Crabapple, Quince

Arrowroot: Arrowroot

Arum Family: Dasheen, Poi, Taro

Banana: Banana, Plantain, Psyllium

Birch: Filbert, Hazelnut * closely related to Apple family

Berry: Blackberry, Boysenberry, Dewberry, Loganberry, Strawberry, Youngberry. (see also Apple family), Raspberry.

Borage: borage, Comfrey tea (plants: forget-me-not, alkanet, bugloss, lungwort)

Brazil Nut: Brazil Nut

Buckwheat: Buckwheat, Coccolaba, Garden Sorrel, Rhubarb
(Ed note: these are not grains)

Cactus: Cactus, Prickly Pear, Tequila

Capers: Capers

Cashew: Cashew, Mango, Pistachio

Cereals: Bamboo Shoots; Barley; Barley, Malt; Bran (wheat); Cane sugar; Cane Molasses; Chestnut, Water; Chestnut, Ling nut; Chestnut, Singhara nut; Corn ; Corn Meal ; Corn Starch ; Corn Oil ; Corn Sugar; Corn syrup; Corn dextrose; Corn glucose ; Corn cerelose; Farina (wheat); Graham flour (wheat) ; Gluten flour (wheat) ; Millet; Patent Flour (wheat); Oats; Pumpernickel; Rice; Rye; Sorghum; Wheat; Wheat flour; Wheat Germ; Wheat (whole) flour; Wild Rice.

Citrus: Angostura bitters; Citrange; Citron; Grapefruit; Kumquat; Lemon; Lime; Orange; Tangerine

Cochliospermum Family: Karaya Gum, Guaiac Gum

Composite Family (Aster): Absinthe; Artichoke; Artichoke, Jerusalem; Boneset Tea; Burdock; Calomel; Camomile; Cardoon; Celtuse; Chicory; Dandelion; Endive; Escarole; Head Lettuce; Lettuce, Leaf ; Lettuce; Oyster Plant, Salsify; Safflower; Sesame Seeds/ Oil; Sunflower/ Oil/ Seeds; Tarragon; Vermouth; Vermouth (Ragweed); Vermouth (Pyrethrum); Yarrow.

Crustaceans: Crab; Crayfish; Lobster; Prawns; Shrimp.

Cyperaceae Family (a Sedge): Chinese Waterchestnut

Curry Powder: not a single food but a blend of spices.

Ebony: Persimmon, Date Plum

Flacourtia: Kei apple, Ceylon gooseberry, Kiwi

Flax - Linseed oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil

Fresh Water Fish: Bass, Catfish, Croaker, Perch, Pike, Salmon, Smelt, Trout, Whitefish.

Fungus: Mushroom, Yeast/Antibiotics

Garcinia: Mangosteen

Ginger: Arrowroot, Cardamon, Ginger, Turmeric

Gooseberry: Currant, Gooseberry

Goosefoot (Beet): Beet, Sugar; Chard, Kochia, Lambs Quarters, Spinach, Thistle.

Gourd (Melon): Casaba; Cantaloupe; Cucumber; Honey Dew; Muskmelon; Persian Melon; Pumpkin; Squash; Vegetable Marrow; Watermelon, Zucchini.

Grains: see Cereals.

Grape: Brandy; Champagne; Crème of Tartar; Grape; Raisin; Wine; Wine Vinegar.

Heath: Cranberry, Bearberry, Blueberry, Huckleberry, Wintergreen.

Holly: Mate.

Honeysuckle: Elderberry.

Iris: Saffron.

Laurel: Avocado, Bay Leaves, Camphor, Cinnamon, Laurel, Sassafras.

Legume:Acacia; Acacia Gum; Alfalfa; Arabic; Black-eyed pea; Carob; Carob (St. John’s Bread); Cassia; Chick Pea; Field Pea; Green Bean; Green Pea; Guar gum; Jack bean; Karaya Gum; Kidney bean; Lentil; Licorice; Lima bean; Locust Bean Gum; Mungo Bean; Navy Bean; Peanut; Peanut oil; Pinto Bean; Soybean; Soybean oil/flour/lecithin; Split Pea; String Bean; Talca Gum; Tamarind; Tonka bean; Tragancanth Gum; Urd Flour.

Lily: Aloes, Asparagus, Chives, Garlic, Leek, Onion, Shallot, Sparsparilla.

Linseed: Flax, Linseed oil

Litchi: Litchi Nut.

Mallow: Cottonseed meal, Cottonseed oil, Okra, Gumbo, Althea root tea.

Maple: Maple syrup and maple sugar.

Miscellaneous: Honey (watch if you are allergic to bee venom).

Mint: Basil, Bergamot, Betony (Chinese artichoke) Catnip, Horehound, Marjoram, Menthol, Mint, Oregano, Pennyroyal tea, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Savoury, Spearmint, Thyme.

Mussels: Abalone, Clam, Mussel, Oyster, Scallop, Squid.

Morning Glory: Jicama, Sweet Potato, Yam.

Mulberry: Breadfruit, Fig, Hops, Mulberry.

Mustard: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Canola (rapeseed), Cauliflower, Celery Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Collard, Colza Shoots, Kale, Kohlrabi, Kraut, Horseradish, Mustard, Mustard Greens, Radish, Rutabaga, Turnips, Watercress.

Myrtle: Allspice, Cloves, Eucalyptus, Guava, Paprika, Pimento.

Nightshade: Brinjal, Cayenne, Capsicum, Eggplant, Ground Cherry, Banana Pepper, Bell Pepper, Chili Pepper, Green Pepper, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Paprika, Pimento, Potato, Tabasco, Thorn Apple, Tobacco, Tomato.

Nutmeg: Mace, Nutmeg.

Olive: Olive, olive oil.

Orchid: Vanilla, Gum Guaiacum

Palm: Coconut, Date, Palm Cabbage, Sago.

Parsley: Angelica, Anise, Carrots, Celery, Celeriac, Caraway, Celery Seed, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnips, Sweet Cicily, Water Celery.

Pawpaw: Pawpaw, papaya, papain, custard apple, alligator applie, pond apple, annona.

Pear (Pyrus): pear

Pepper: Black pepper, white pepper.

Pine: Juniper, Pinion nut.

Pineapple: Pineapple.

Plantain: Plantain, Banana, Psyllium.

Plum (Prunus): Almond, Apricot, Cherry, Nectarine, Peach, Plum, Prune Plum.

Pomegranate: Pomegranate.

Poppy: Poppy seed.

Quince: Quince

Rose: a big family. See also Apple family.

Salt Water Fish: Bass, Cod, Flounder, Herring, Mackerel, Mullet, Salmon.

Seaweed: Dulse, Kelp

Spurge: Tapioca, Castor Bean.

Stercula: Cocoa, Cola Bean, Chocolate (Cocoa).

Tea: Tea.

Walnut: Butternut, Hickory nut, Pecan, Black Walnut, English Walnut.

Terms of Use: The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is for your general information only. We cannot be held responsible for anything you could possibly do or say because of information on this site. Consult your family physician or allergist for specific questions or concerns.


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