Mercury (Hg) contaminated soils from Oak Ridge, Tennessee were investigated for phytoavailability of mercury as measured by degree of Hg translocation in aboveground biomass of Impatiens walleriana plants grown in the soils. After 90 days of incubation, results revealed a higher concentration of total Hg in the leaves than in the flowers or the stems. Plants that were grown in the soils with higher Hg concentrations showed significantly higher Hg uptake and translocation in the aboveground plant-biomass, and the correlation with the initial soil-Hg was significant for the leaves and the stems in the plants that were tested. On an average, only 4.06 microg of Hg could be found in the above ground plant biomass of all the plants, compared to an average 3673.50 microg of initial total Hg concentrations in these soils. Statistical analysis revealed a greater affinity of Hg for the soil carbon, which supported the finding of this study on low soil Hg bioavailability.