A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the sunflower plant for phytoremediation of contaminated soils in the absence and presence of organic soil amendments (compost and vermicompost). Tested organic amendments significantly influenced the uptake of Pb, Zn and Cd by the sunflower plant. The compost and vermicompost treatments significantly reduced the heavy metals concentration in the sunflower seeds, meals and oils, but the effect differed among them. There was a dose effect of the amendments as well. The 40 t/da compost and 20 t/da treatment led to decreased heavy metal contents in the sunflower oil below the regulated limits. The possibility of further industrial processing will make sunflower an economically interesting crop for farmers applying the phytoremediation technology.
Key words: phytoremediation, heavy metals, organic amendments, sunflower