Flemish researchers have gathered scientific knowledge about the air purifying capacity of trees and plants. Which species are the most suitable for outdoor and indoor use?
Green-Air, a group formed by the Technopool Floriculture (including researchers from Flemish institutes ILVO, PCS, UGent and HoGent), University of Antwerp and the Flemish Environment Society have combined all the knowledge from scientific research.
In gardens, parks and along streets these 10 trees and plants capture the most fine dust according to Green-Air: Buddleja davidii, Viburnum opulus, Carpinus betulus, Quercus ilex, Viburnum lantana, Rosa rugosa, Sorbus aria, Aesculus hippocastanum, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Acer campestre.
At home or in offices Chlorophytum, Dracaena, Hedera helix and Spathiphyllum are good options. But according to Green-Air the list should be much longer, as the air purifying capacity of a lot of indoor plants hasn’t been researched yet.
Furthermore, the knowledge of how many plants you need to keep the air healthy, is still limited. Some researchers have this idea: two plants of Nephrolepis exaltata or three plants of Dracaena deremensis ’Janet Graigs’ can clean the air up to a 9 square metre office.
The air purifying capacity is depending on various factors, such as: amount of light, wind, leaf shape and initial air pollution.
Green-Air has published all the scientific knowledge in two brochures (in Dutch/Flemish): one about trees and plants in the open air, the other about plants in indoor spaces.
Photo by Arno Engels