Gauteng Smallholder October 2015 - Page 20

IN THE HOME From page 17 especially those prone to respiratory ailments such as asthma and tuberculosis, and allergies. However, a study conducted some years ago by the US National Aeronautical & Space Administration (Nasa) identified a number of common house-plants that actively remove these chemicals from the atmosphere, leaving the air purer. These include the dwarf date palm (Phoenix robelenii), Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), Kimberly queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterata), spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum), bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), devil's ivy (Epipremnum aureum), flamingo lily (Anthureum andraeanum) lilyturf (Liriope spicata), broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa), our own Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans House plants make excellent air purifiers and humidifiers “Messangeana”), peace lily (Spathifyllum English ivy (Hedera helix), “Mauna Loa”), and florist's variegated snake plant chrysanthemum (Chrysanthe(Sansivieria trifasciata mum morifolium). “Laurentis”), red-edged In addition to the chemicaldracaena (D marginata), removing properties of these (and other) plants, all plants sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. Moreover, many plants aid in humidifying the atmosphere through the process of transpiration, both effects which are beneficial to inhabitants suffering from respiratory and skin complaints. Gerbera, aka Barberton daisy 18 www.sasmallholder.co.za