iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


A review of the performance of woody and herbaceous ornamental plants for phytoremediation in urban areas

Maurizio Capuana   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 139-151 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3242-013
Published: Apr 14, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Review Papers

Urban and periurban areas are often contaminated by several pollutants. Phytoremediation is considered to be an effective and eco-friendly strategy for the restoration of these contaminated lands. For this purpose, the exploitation of ornamental plants could be an additional option, due to their positive impact on the landscape. In this paper, we reviewed a selection of species which have been proposed for utilization in phytoremediation. Several tree species have been introduced in the past into urban environments for parks, gardens and avenues, with a selection studied for their capacity to absorb, tolerate, and translocate contaminants. Shrubby and herbaceous species are also commonly exploited for their ornamental features and are now studied for phytoremediation purposes. The responses of several effective species to the presence of heavy metals or dangerous organic compounds in the growth substrate are examined in this paper.


Environment, Heavy Metals, Landscape, Organics, Pollution

Authors’ address

Maurizio Capuana 0000-0003-4537-9643
Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources, National Research Council, v. Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, FI (Italy)

Corresponding author

Maurizio Capuana


Capuana M (2020). A review of the performance of woody and herbaceous ornamental plants for phytoremediation in urban areas. iForest 13: 139-151. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3242-013

Academic Editor

Werther Guidi Nissim

Paper history

Received: Sep 18, 2019
Accepted: Feb 07, 2020

First online: Apr 14, 2020
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2020
Publication Time: 2.23 months

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