Scientists at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have identified the effectiveness of the bushy, hairy-leafed cotoneaster (Cotoneaster franchetii) to soak up air pollution on busy roads as part of a study that is focused on easing environmental problems such as air pollution, flooding, and heatwaves while boosting the benefits of gardens and green spaces. 

The cotoneaster was seen to be at least 20 percent more effective in soaking up pollution as compared to other shrubs which did not make a difference on less busy streets. 

As the cotoneaster’s effectiveness to lessen air pollution has been brought to light, scientists have now deemed it a “super-plant” that’s ideal to plant along busy roads in pollution hot spots. 

But for quieter areas, a mix in vegetation is recommended to improve the environmental diversity in a green space. 

The RHS is continuously identifying new super-plants with unique qualities and how they will work when combined with other plants to best improve the current condition of the environment. 

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