THE USE OF MEDITERRANEAN SHRUBS IN GREEN LIVING WALLS. AGRONOMIC EVALUATION OF MYRTUS COMMUNIS L.
In the last decade, architects focused their attention more and more on building façades for improving sustainability in urban environment. The choice of proper plant species in the different environmental conditions and the use of orna¬mental shrubs for the vertical greening are new interesting topics to develop. In particular, the use of stress tolerant species could satisfy the need for reducing the energy inputs of such a cultivation technology. In this context, aromatic plants have a good ornamental potential: they are drought resistant, thrive well on shallow and poor soils, and can survive thermal and water stresses. This study evaluated the suit¬ability of Myrtus communis L. for vertical growing in a Mediterranean environment. The modular living wall system REVIWALL® (Reviplant Nursery, Revigliasco, Turin, Italy) was used. The trial was performed in Antibes (France) from April 2010 to November 2011. On each of the four exposures (North, South, East and West), three repetitions of three modular panels (40x50 cm) with 18 plants were set up. Plants cultivated in 13 cm diameter pots were used and were pruned at the end of the first vegetative period. The automatic fertigation programme was set according to the environmental conditions. Data were collected every 3 weeks from June to November for the two years. Growth index (GI), covering index, ornamental value, fresh and dry weights were evaluated. Results showed that no differences of the GI and covering values in the four exposures were detected during the two growing seasons. Plants covered 100% of the panel surfaces on each exposure since the end of 2010 with a good ornamental effect. In conclusion, Myrtus communis is a valid species for vertical greening and it can contribute to the diffusion of this new technology in Mediterranean urban landscapes.
Larcher, F., Merlo, F. and Devecchi, M. (2013). THE USE OF MEDITERRANEAN SHRUBS IN GREEN LIVING WALLS. AGRONOMIC EVALUATION OF MYRTUS COMMUNIS L.. Acta Hortic. 990, 495-500
woody ornamental, urban environment, sustainable design, green walls, Myrtus