Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mediterranean plants and land restoration

A group of experts in Analytical and Environmental Chemistry, University of Sevilla (U.S.), along with researchers from the University of Abdelmalek ESSAADI (Morocco), has found that the remains of dates and olives, as well as the leaves of certain plants of the Mediterranean region, act as adsorbents of pesticides.

Scientists have studied how adsorbed, ie attract-and retain 22 types of natural pesticides in ten, five organic waste (peanut shell, bamboo and olive stones, dates and avocado) and five leaves of plants ( Eucalyptus, horseradish, oregano, oleander and jara), which were previously crushed. The results of the study, published in 'Journal of Hydrology ", show that the remains of the dates and olives are an average value of adsorption of 93% and 90% respectively, and the leaves of the radishes and rockrose, of 80%.

"The direct application of natural organic adsorbents on farmland not only retains the pesticides and reduce their consumption, but also improve soil fertility," says Hicham El Bakouri, co-author of the study and researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering and U.S. Environmental.

The Bakouri stressed that the addition of this organic material crushed to the ground also favors the biodegradation of contaminants, and to increase microbiological activity, reduce the vertical movement of pesticides from surface to groundwater. These waters are commonly used for irrigation and human consumption.



  1. I am trying to identify a plant in my new garden. I think it is the one in this main picture. A shrub with peachy pink flowers as above. Can someone tell me its name please?

  2. Nerium Oleander is the shrub in this picture, it is widely grown in Mediterranean climate gardens. Flower colours range from white through the pinks to dark reds and some cultivars have variegated leaves. It is an easy and fast growing shrub which is easily pruned.