Ok, firstly feel free to move this to another section if it fits better.
the short version is that hyperaccumulator plants are ones that tolerate growing in soils high in metals/heavy metals. this I found after starting some digging on dynamic accumulators.
so what this means is that these plants (lots of flowers it seems) will really suck up these metals and store them. of course my first thought after that is one of Paul's podcasts about this one location where they were taking rainwater overflow from a road/driveway that was coming into the yard and channeling it into this little pond. His point being to get the water that is coming off the road and surely full of toxic gick, to be diverted into this channel and into the little pond. the little pond accumulates the water and slows it a lot. the **heavy** metals ("heavy metals.. heavy.. HEAVY... HEAVY METALS..") on the long finger of the pond you plant non-edibles to take in those heavy metals.
so wouldn't these be perfect to try and do some playing around to see if these can really do that and help us get rid of those heavy metals. it would be simple to have these and when you thin them or rake the leaves/etc removing the materials would also be removing the heavy metals they had sucked up!
this post is all that I have gotten on this so far, so by all means if someone has more knowledge in this space I would love to see
The problem, of course, is what to do with those metal-heavy plant materials once you have them. I have read that someone is growing selenium-tolerant plants (on land that has accumulated toxic levels of selenium due to irrigation) and then sellling it to ranchers in low-selenium areas to feed to their cattle in lieu of selenium supplements. I imagine, though, that it is rare for the pollutants being accumulated to be single substances and for there to be a market or use for many of them. Paul Stamets has done some terrific work on detoxifying runnoff with mushrooms. I wonder about growing some of these accumulator plants and harvesting the hay to use for mushroom substrate.....it might have to be a several-stage process to break down toxic compounds. The trouble with many heavy metals is that they can't be broken down any farther--they are already single elements. So in that case, finding a market/consumer needing that element might sometimes involve animal or process on your own homestead or neighborhood, but many times it might have to involve shipping them to an area that is short on that element.
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