Projects: Five Plant Species Tested for Foliar Effects of RDX Contamination

Project Site
Champaign, Illinois, United States
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  
Contact Person
Frank Hagen, email missing
Purpose of Project

A group of angiospermous herbaceous plants were assayed for symptomatic foliar changes in response to RDX contaminant levels found in soils of military ranges. Among five species selected for testing on the basis of RDX tolerance, only prickly sida (Sida spinosa) exhibited foliar symptoms upon exposure. At plant maturity red patches were produced in the leaf margins and interveinal chlorosis developed. Other members of the family Malvaceae are used to produce a red tea rich in anthocyanins. Because of these symptoms, there is potential for using prickly sida as a cost effective field and laboratory indicator of RDX contamination and for RDX phytoremediation.

Project Durarion
In progress since July 2008
Project Status
Project Media
Soil: clay
Contaminant categories
Health/exposure concerns
RDX is highly mobile in soil and groundwater, leading to potential exposure to drinking or irrigation waters.
Phytotechnology mechanism
Plant Species
Sida spinosa (Prickly Sida) and 4 other sp
Remediation Enhancing Additives
Project Scale
Lab Scale
Remediation Location
In Situ
Secondary Value/Uses for Project Land and Plants
Aditional Information
Author has applied for a patent for this technology.


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