This plant doesn’t need soil, it takes the nourishment from air because it absorbs humidity and, together with it, also polluting and carcinogenic substances released by vehicle exhaust gases, combustion of organic compounds, incense and cigarette smoke.
Tillandsia is an evergreen, perennial plant of the Bromeliaceae family, its common name is airplant and is native to Central America. It is not like the other plants, indeed, tillandsia doesn’t need soil, it doesn’t have underground roots and, thanks to the structures that cover the plant, called trichomes, it absorbs from air humidity and, in this way, also the nourishment. But tillandsia, together with humidity, is also able to capture the atmospheric pollution and particulates. Tillandsia has been studied by a lot by scientists. We can mention the research performed by the botanic Luigi Brighigna of University of Florence, he observed that tillandsia is a valuable detector of pollution thanks to modifications in amount and composition of the leaf microflora (Brighigna et al, Rev Biol Trop, 2000). Moreover, this strange plant is also able to absorb the particulates full of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carcinogenic substances coming from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuel, we are speaking about vehicle exhaust gases, organic compound combustion, combustion of incense and timber but also cigarette smoke. Tillandsia adapts to live in houses where it is appreciated thanks to its ability to purify the air, perfect in particular polluted cities and with a lot of traffic, but it has also an interesting ornamental role. Tillandsia can be put in flower pots, can be used to create flower arrangements or simply can be placed on shelves or tables. Tillandsia doesn’t love cold weather and for this reason the temperature should not arrive below 5°C.
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