Thursday, April 30, 2009

20 of the 50 Plants To Purify Your Air

More on Plants and Air Quality

Last post I shared some more about plants improving air quality. A German study investigated what happened to things like formaldahyde after the plants removed it from the air. They wanted to know whether the plants stored the chemicals and whether they later re-released them back into the air.
What they found was that enzymes in the leaves of the plant break the toxins down into non-toxic components that the plant can use. It is a little like the way the human liver cleanses the body of toxins. The chemicals then move into the root system and the soil and micro-organisms break it down even further.

A Larger List of Plants
I came across the complete list of plants, from the NASA study, sourced from the original author.

Best plants that remove chemical vapors from indoor air.
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata "Bostoniensis")
  • Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Florist's Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
  • Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Kimberley Queen (Nephrolepis obliterata)
  • Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)
  • Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
  • Corn/Happy plant (Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana")
  • Dracaena "Janet Craig" (Dracaena deremensis "Janet Craig")
  • Schefflera/Umbrella Tree (Brassaia actinophylla)
  • Peace/Madonna Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
  • Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
  • Dendrobium Orchid (Dendrobium sp.)
  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia "Exotica compacta")
  • Ficus Alii (Ficus macleilandii "Alii")
  • King of hearts (Homalomena wallisii)
  • Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  • Lily turf (Liriope spicata)
Source: Dr. B. C. Wolverton, Eco-friendly house plants, 1996

Dr Wolverton wrote a book, "How to Grow Fresh Air :50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office". If you are interested in learning more about how to rid your air of toxins this could be a great read.

It is fantastic that there is such an easy, natural way to improve the air that we breathe. While plants are not the only thing that we might need to to to ensure that our indoor air is as good as it can be, it will certainly help in our efforts to improve our health.

Be healthy and happy


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