The purpose of this study was to determine the concentrations of heavy metals (cadmium, lead, zinc, copper, iron and manganese) in soil, their bioavailability and bioaccumulation in plants leaves. This study also examined their influences on the antioxidant response of the plants Cardaminopsis arenosa and Plantago lanceolata grown in metal-contaminated and non-contaminated soils. The activities of guaiacol peroxidase and superoxide dismutase and the levels of antioxidants such as glutathione, proline and non-protein thiols were measured. Concentrations of the examined metals were several to thousands of times lower in the potentially bioavailable fraction than in the acid-extracted fraction of the soil. Similar mode of antioxidant responses in plant leaves of metalliferous populations indicates the tolerance of plants towards heavy metals. However POD and GSHt had a particularly strong role in defense reactions, as their increase was the most common reaction to heavy metal contamination.The levels of Zn, Cd and Pb in the leaves of C. arenosa better reflected metal concentrations in the metalliferous and non-metalliferous soil than the determined metal concentrations in P. lanceolata. Bioaccumulated Zn, Cd and Pb concentrations were above or in the ranges mentioned as toxic for plant tissues and therefore the studied plants have potential for use in phytostabilization.