Planting greenery is often touted as one solution to the threat of air pollution , but which species are actually the most effective against this major public health hazard? Researchers at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the UK set out to answer that exact question and in the process revealed a new "super plant" — Franchet’s cotoneaster, or Cotoneaster franchetii . "We estimate the Cotoneaster franchetii traps 20% more emissions than other hedges we have tested so would be ideal along busy roads in pollution hot spots," RHS principal horticultural scientist and study lead author Dr. Tijana Blanusa said in a press release . The study, published in the journal Environments , set out to compare different methods for assessing which plants were accumulating the most particulate matter. They then used the most effective method to look at roadside hedges during the summertime in the British city of Reading. They sought to determine which species and types of species were the most effective at absorbing pollutants, as well as the influence of hedge depth and proximity to traffic. The winner, Franchet’s cotoneaster, is a shrub with hairy leaves that sports white or pink berries in spring and summer […]

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