List of air-filtering plants

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The first list of air-filtering plants was compiled by NASA as part of the NASA Clean Air Study,[1][2][3] which researched ways to clean air in space stations. As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, as all plants do, these plants also eliminate significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene. The second and third list are from B. C. Wolverton's book[4] and paper[5] and focus on removal of specific chemicals.

NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.[1]

Plants[edit]

Plant, Top remover of: benzene
(NASA)[1]
formaldehyde
(NASA)[1] (Wolverton)[4]
trichloroethylene
(NASA)[1]
xylene and
toluene[4][5]
ammonia[5] Poisonous or Edible?[6]
Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) No Wolverton No Yes No Non-toxic to cats
Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) No No No Yes No Non-toxic to cats
Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis') No Wolverton No Yes No Non-toxic to cats
Kimberly queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterata) No Wolverton No Yes No Non-toxic to cats
English ivy (Hedera helix) Yes Wolverton No Yes No Toxic to cats
Lilyturf (Liriope spicata) No Yes No Yes Yes Non-toxic to cat
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) No NASA No Yes No Non-toxic to cats
Devil's ivy, Money plant (Epipremnum aureum) Yes NASA Yes Yes No Poisonous if eaten or chewed by pets or children[7]
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa') Yes Wolverton Yes Yes Yes Mildly toxic to cats and dogs
Flamingo lily (Anthurium andraeanum) No Yes No Yes Yes Poisonous[8]
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) Wolverton[9] Wolverton[9] No No No Toxic to cats
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) No NASA, Wolverton No Yes No Non-toxic to cats
Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa) No Yes No Yes Yes Non-toxic to cats
Variegated snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii') Wolverton NASA Wolverton Yes No Toxic to cats and dogs [10]
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum) No NASA No No No Toxic to cats
Selloum philodendron
(Philodendron bipinnatifidum)
No NASA No No No Toxic to cats
Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) No NASA No No No Toxic to cats
Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena reflexa) Yes NASA Yes Yes No Toxic to dogs and cats [11]
Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana') No NASA No No No Toxic to cats
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)[12] No Wolverton No Yes No Poisonous if eaten or chewed by dogs, cats and horses[13]
Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) Yes Wolverton Yes No No Non-toxic to cats
Florist's chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) Yes NASA, Wolverton Yes Yes Yes Poisonous if eaten or chewed by dogs, cats and horses[14]
Rubber plant (Ficus elastica) No Wolverton No No No Toxic to cats
Dendrobium orchids (Dendrobium spp.) No No No Yes No Non-toxic to cats
Dumb canes (Dieffenbachia spp.) No No No Yes No Causes oral inflammation in children[15] and animals[16] if chewed
King of hearts (Homalomena wallisii) No No No Yes No  ?
Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.) No No No Yes No Non-toxic to cats

Foliage[edit]

Most of the plants on the list evolved in tropical or subtropical environments. Due to their ability to flourish on reduced sunlight, their leaf composition allows them to photosynthesize well in household light.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Pottorff, L. Plants "Clean" Air Inside Our Homes. Colorado State University & Denver County Extension Master Gardener. 2010.
  2. ^ Wolverton, B. C., et al. (1984). Foliage plants for removing indoor air pollutants from energy-efficient homes. Economic Botany 38(2), 224-28.
  3. ^ Wolverton, B. C., et al. A study of interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement: an interim report. NASA. July, 1989.
  4. ^ a b c Wolverton, B. C. (1996) How to Grow Fresh Air. New York: Penguin Books.
  5. ^ a b c Wolverton, B. C. and J. D. Wolverton. (1993). Plants and soil microorganisms: removal of formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia from the indoor environment. Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 38(2), 11-15.
  6. ^ Toxic and non-toxic plants. Pet Care. ASPCA.
  7. ^ Schrock, D. 24 of the easiest houseplants you can grow. Better Homes and Gardens.
  8. ^ Notes on poisoning: Anthurium andraeanum. Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System. Government of Canada.
  9. ^ a b Wolverton, B. C., et al. Interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement: final report. NASA. September, 1989. pp 11-12.
  10. ^ Golden Birds Nest. Pet Care. ASPCA.
  11. ^ Red-Marginated Dracaena. Pet Care. ASPCA.
  12. ^ American Society for Horticultural Science. Indoor plants can reduce formaldehyde levels. ScienceDaily. February 20, 2009. Quote: "...Complete plants removed approximately 80% of the formaldehyde within 4 hours. Control chambers pumped with the same amount of formaldehyde, but not containing any plant parts, decreased by 7.3% during the day and 6.9% overnight within 5 hours..." In reference to: Kim, J. K., et al. (2008). Efficiency of volatile formaldehyde removal by indoor plants: contribution of aerial plant parts versus the root zone. Horticultural Science 133: 479-627.
  13. ^ Fig. Pet Care. ASPCA.
  14. ^ Chrysanthemum. Pet Care. ASPCA.
  15. ^ Boyle, J. S., et al. Plant Poisoning, Caladium, Dieffenbachia, and Philodendron. Medscape. 2011.
  16. ^ Dieffenbachia. Pet Care. ASPCA.

External links[edit]