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Plantwatch: the trees that feed on metal – The Guardian

These plants can clean contaminated soils, could they also offer a greener way of collecting much-needed substances?



A magnificent tall tree called Pycnandra acuminata grows on the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, and it does something strange when its bark is cut it bleeds a bright blue-green latex that contains up to 25% nickel, a metal highly poisonous to most plants in more than tiny amounts.
An estimated 700 plant species have unusually high levels of metal, mostly nickel but not in all cases. The macadamia tree has leaves and sap rich in manganese, although fortunately not in the nut. If such…

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