Species List for Permaculturists ?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by dylanz, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. dylanz

    dylanz Junior Member

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    I'm trying to brainstorm on a way to organize a species list that would be best suited for permaculturists. There are some random lists online, a great list in the Edible Forest Gardens (Jacke/Toensmeier) book, and even books dedicated to it. Was thinking it would be handy to have a good, centralized, list, online and accessible offline, that could be easily navigable.

    For example... looking up Cajanus Cajan, you get the USDA information on it, which has a extremely robust list of characteristics:
    https://plants.usda.gov/java/charProfile?symbol=CACA27

    Maybe a big set of filters applied to a similar database... like: "What I'm looking for must be: Coppicable, Drought Tolerant, Fodder Product"... etc ?

    Just thinking out loud, but think it may be a handy type of application. Would love to hear any ideas, especially from some of the designers out in the field.
    Thanks !
    ==
    Dylan
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    Jason Ross in Dunedin has an excellent A4 booklet on suitable tree and shrub species for Coastal Otago. It's arranged with keys for a whole bunch of stuff including soil, climate, use (human and other animal), what the plants like etc. And arranged also according to botanical name, common name etc.

    It's a very good example of how to arrange the information, and you'd probably find some of the content relevant to where you are too.

    I don't think it's online but you can contact him via his website:

    https://www.sutherlandnursery.co.nz/index.html

    While I think a general resource is useful, I'd love to see geo-specific ones like Jason's. They could be online too.
     
  3. dylanz

    dylanz Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    Thanks Pebble ! I emailed Jason in hopes of being able to view the documents you mentioned.

    Any other suggestions / ideas / dreams are welcome as well :)

    Cheers !
    ==
    Dylan
     
  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    I have hundreds of books on plants.
    There is no advice however, like that from someone who has grown the plant you want to grow in the area you want to grow it.
    That's why Forums such as this are useful and important.

    It would be nice to have better climate data though.
    I like the USA system 1-9-10 Zones which is helpful but not perfect.
    For example
    • Sage (Salvia officnalis) recommended for Zone 9, is almost impossible to keep alive in wet coastal Sydney beyond a year or too.
      French Tarragon packs it in if you don't divide it ever2-3 years and water it well in summer and lightly in winter
      Aloe Vera (Indian Aloe) is not a cactus it likes lots of water etc etc.
     
  5. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    Excellent idea.

    It would take work though and work costs. I dunno about Geoff's external relationships but there would be suppliers out there who would want to link to the actual pages. It just depends on the cost and return. I would suggest that anyone accessing the database would have to register as increased participation makes the site more saleable.

    I have an example of local knowledge/practises exploding myths. Asparagus has long been seen as a temperate crop but as a participant in the first commercial tropical asparagus crop I can personally tell you that asparagus is a remarkable tropical crop and it can be harvested twice a year commercially.
    Once in 'winter' heavily and again at about Christmas time lightly. The same can be said about lemons, they grow remarkably in the tropics but require heavy pruning. We can also grow oranges here but not commercially as they dont go orange but stay mostly green which is fine by me. The Katherine region now has a healthy citrus industry because one person ignored what was 'common knowledge'.

    The other important thing about such a database is that most permie food production is for home/neighbour's use so, say, a tomato variety that produces well for me might produce 20 tomatoes per vine which would literally be a waste of space for a commercial grower.

    Early on this thread mentioned pigeon pea-cajanus cajanus which will grow here despite being under near constant attack by animals etc and if it were grown in Dunedin NZ I have no doubts it will never be as robust as my pigeon pea but I suspect that if it were started in a hothouse and planted out in November, in the right position, it may do just fine.

    Very soon I will be handplanting a pasture crop. I already know that mungbean, millet, peanuts and maize will grow. I dont know if wynns cassia or buckwheat will do any good here but I will report back in about April. It would be nice to add any knowledge gained to a database.

    The whole point of having this database would be to share that local experience as I am more likely to replicate/ another permie's situation than I am a commercial growers.

    cheers,
     
  6. helgecko

    helgecko Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    I think an online database would be a wonderful resource.

    Obviously, the information out there verges on the infinite, so boundaries would have to be set up early on to avoid creating a monsterous task that could hardly be begun, let alone completed. One (probably the most obvious) example would be to create it for a specific geographic region. Also, I agree that it would be best specifically created as a "backyard permaculture resource" rather than something for commercial set-ups, again to try to make the project manageable.

    Unfortunately I know little about setting up websites, but I am handy with several computer programs, and would like to offer my time to helping gathering, compiling and sorting information for such a project :)
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    O dear
    Someone taking me seriously
    Ho-hum
    do you realise what ahuge task this is could be?

    Take Chillies.
    There are at least 300 varieties in four different botanical groups.
    They grow from the beaches of the Caribbean to high up the S. American mountains of the Andies.
    From the deserts to tropical forests. Some are vines.(The Manzano)
    Many think they are annuals because theirs die every winter

    I agree with helgeco that
    She seems to understand the scale of such an enterprise and starting small might be a good idea.
    Although if you did a small geographic area you would have fewer people to work on the data base.
    Even within Sydney City suburban area there would be maybe six or more growing zones.
    There must be some online data bases run by Botanic Gardens or others that could be adapted to permaculture use.

    I find it incredibly frustrating trying to get just specific PH information on garden plants. Information which I think should be in the first line of any description of a plant & its' growing needs.

    I have a personal problem with permaculture so will confess my heresy now
    Many plants I plant are for the soul not for the stomach or I find them interesting because of their medicinal, perfumery or historical uses. (I am still tying to get seeds of the Violin Bow tree- I posted a thread on that here
    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4954&p=31201&hilit=Violin#p31201
    )
    [/quote:15dk8374]


    Well all that sounds very negative, I am sorry.
    Perhaps you need to be a lot younger than me to start such a project.
    "The longest journey starts with the first step"
    So over to you guys.
     
  8. david n

    david n Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    Have you tried the "Plants for a Future" site? https://www.pfaf.org/database/index.php I've used it practically everyday for years, they have around 7000 plants & are permacuture inspired, you can search by habitat, they are based in England which is fairly compatiable to conditions here in NZ.

    I like to think of ecological horticulture/permacuture at this point in time as pioneering research, we have to make the species lists.
     
  9. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    haha i made a post forever ago trying to get people inspired to make a website that could provide this kind of information, no one replied (except ho hum, thank by the way)

    searching plants by region they have been grown successfully in, place in the garden(vine, root, veg, big trees or small, bushes, mushrooms), species that compliment, people who have seeds, seedlings, etc...

    plants for a future is a really good website imo, if they could incorporate some more layers it could be really potent.
     
  10. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    We have over 900 species here, and many of them are medicinals, which have a purpose. Some of them have commercial value, and some of them are rare or endangered.

    We have done ethnobotanical collecting of specimens, and many of the plants have multiple uses. Even ornamentals, which some permaculturists poo poo, attract pollinators, plus cut flowers on the table look nice today, and make great mulch tomorrow! Michaleangelica, I think growing perfumery, medicinal and plants that are good for the soul is completely within the definition of permaculture.

    I have a list of species, very incomplete, in excel, with columns that list their names, common and scientific, what family they belong to, wether they are food, fiber, medicinal, suitable for share, if they are leguminous, if they are used as timber, how high they grow, what products they produce (timber, fruit, resins), what services they provide (soil retention, suitable for bee fodder, suitable for ruminant feed). I cannot find the oldest version (I bought a new computer and forgot what the new xcl doc is called. I think it is a good way to take stock of what plants you have. This list below is very incomplete! I have a conservation biologist coming here for a year and part of what she is doing is cataloging species.

    The list below does not include any of the ethnobotanical work, and some of the species, like kiwano, we no longer have.

    Below is a messy look at the first three columns, species name, family and common name. If anyone wants the whole list, I can send it, PM me your email, and I will send it to you. You can copy the columns and use them.

    Abelmoschus esculentas Malvaceae okra
    Acacia cornigera Mimosaceae cockspur (acacia w/ants)
    Acalypha arvensis Euphorbiaceae cancer herb
    Adiantum tenerum Polypodiaceae maidenhair fern
    Agave americana Agavaceae century plant / agave
    Alocasio macrorrhiza Araceae wild coco
    Aloe barbadensis Liliaceae aloe
    Alpinia speciosa Zingiberaceae shell ginger
    Alternanthera flavogrisea Amaranthaceae golondrina (bad boy)
    Amaranthus sp. Amaranthaceae collaloo
    Anacardium occidentale Anacardiacea cashew
    Ananas comosus Bromeliaceae pineapple
    Annona cherimola x A. squamosa Annonaceae atemoya
    Annona muricata Annonaceae soursop
    Annona purpurea Annonaceae too-kib
    Annona reticulata Annonaceae local purple annona
    Annona squamosa Annonaceae cerimoya
    Anthurium schlechtendalii Araceae pheasant tail
    Arachis hypogaea Fabaceae peanut
    Arachis pintoi Fabaceae arachis pintoi
    Arachis pintoi Fabaceae arachis pintoi
    Aristolochia trilobata Aristolochiaceae contribo
    Artemisia sp. Compositae artemisia
    Artocarpus altilis Moraceae breadfruit
    Artocarpus altilis 'Seminifera' Moraceae breadnut
    Artocarpus heterophyllus Moraceae jackfruit
    Averrhoa carambola Averrhoaceae carambola
    Azadirachta indica neem
    Bambusa vulgaris Bambusaceae local yellow bamboo
    Basella alba Basellaceae malabar spinach
    Bauhinia sp. Caesalpiniaceae lavender flowered Venezuelan bauhinia
    Bauhinia sp. Caesalpiniaceae Peten Guatemalan white flowered small bauhinia
    Bixa orellana Bixaceae anatto / achiote
    Blighia sapida Sapindaceae akee
    Bougainvillea brasiliensis Nyctaginaceae purple bougainvillea
    Brassica rapa Chinensis group Crucifera Chinese cabbage
    Brosimum alicastrum Moraceae ramon
    Brossimum Alicastrum Moraceae red ramon, kahkey ash
    Bursera simaruba Burseraceae gumbo limbo
    Byrsonima crassifolia Malpighiaceae crabu
    Caesalpinia pulcherrima Caesalpiniaceae Pride of Barbados
    Cajanus cajan Fabaceae pigeon pea
    Calliandra confusa Leguminoseae calliandra
    Cananga odorata Annonaceae ylang-ylang
    Canavalia ensiformis Fabaceae canavalia
    Capsicum spp. Solanaceae various peppers: bird, habanero, etc.
    Carica papaya Caricaceae papaya
    Cassia fistula Caesalpiniaceae golden shower
    Cassia grandis Caesalpiniaceae bukut
    Castilla elastica Moraceae rubber tree
    Cedrela odorata Meliaceae cedar
    Ceiba pentandra Bombacaceae ceiba
    Chrysophyllum cainito Sapotaceae star apple
    Cnidoscolus chayamansa Euphorbiaceae chaya
    Cocos nucifera Arecaceae coconut
    Coix lacryma-jobi Poaceae Job's tears
    Cordia alliodora Ehretiaceae sam wood / laurel
    Coriandrum sativum Apiaceae cilantro
    Crescentia cujete or C. acuminita Bignoniaceae calabash
    Croton spp. Euphorbiaceae santa maria (male)
    Cucumis metuliferus Cucurbitaceae kiwano
    Cymbopogon citratus Poaceae lemon grass
    Dalbergia sissoo Leguminoseae rosewood
    Delonix regia flamboyant
    Desmodium gyroides Leguminaseae desmodium
    Dioscorea alata Dioscoreaceae flying potato
    Dioscorea alata Dioscoreaceae wild yam
    Diospyros digyna Ebenaceae black sapote
    Diospyros discolor Ebenaceae velvet apple
    Enterolobium cyclocarpum Mimosoideae guanacaste
    Eriobotrya japonica Rosaceae loquat
    Eryngium foetidum Apiaceae sumat / koolantro
    Erythrina berteroana Fabaceae erythrina
    Erythrina sp. Fabaceae immortelle
    Eugenia uniflora Myrtaceae Surinam cherry
    Ficus maxima Moraceae fig
    Flacourtia indica Flacourtiaceae gooseberry
    Gauzuma ulmifolia Sterculiaceae bay cedar
    Glyricidia sepium Fabaceae madre de cacao
    Guilielma gasipaes Araceae peach palm
    Hamelia patens Rubiaceae red head (cloush pim)
    Heliconia caribaea Heliconiaceae wahmil / heliconia
    Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Malvaceae hibiscus
    Hibiscus sp. Malvaceae sorrel / te de Jamaica
    Hura crepitans Euphorbiaceae ash-tray tree
    Hylocereus undatas Cactaceae pita aya
    Hyptis verticillata Lamiaceae john charles
    Inga edulis Mimosaceae bri-bri
    Inga sp. Mimosaceae local bri-bri
    Ipomoea aquatica Convolvulaceae kang kong
    Ipomoea batatas Convolvulaceae sweet potato
    Jatropha curcus Euphorbiaceae physic nut
    Kalanchoe pinnata Crassulaceae life everlasting
    Lablab purpureus Fabaceae lab lab bean
    Leucaena latisiliqua Mimosaceae leucaena
    Litchi chinensis Sapindaceae lychee
    Luffa cylindrica Cucurbitaceae luffa / loofah
    Mangifera indica Anacardiacea mango
    Manihot esculenta Euphorbiaceae cassava
    Manilkara zapota Sapotaceae sapodilla
    Melina arborea Verbenaceae melina
    Mimusops elengi Sapotaceae Spanish cherry
    Mirabilis jalapa Nyctaginaceae 4 o'clock
    Monstera deliciosa Araceae delicious monster
    Moringa oleifera Moringaceae moringa
    Moringa stenopetala Moringaceae moringa
    Morus alba Moraceae mulberry
    Mucuna pruriens Fabaceae mucuna / abone
    Neurolaena lobata Asteraceae jackass bitters
    Ochroma lagopus Bombacaceae balsa
    Ocimum basilicam Lamiaceae local basil
    Ocimum sanctum Lamiaceae tulsi basil
    Ocimum sp. Lamiaceae spicy basil
    Opuntia sp. Cactaceae prickly pear / nopales
    Orbignya cohune Araceae cohune
    Pachira aquatica Bombacaceae Malabar chestnut / cacao de monte
    Pachyrhizus erosus Fabaceae jicama
    Passiflora quadrangularis Passifloraceae grenadilla / big passionfruit
    Paullinia tomentosa Sapindaceae cross vine(parasitic vine)
    Persea americana Lauraceae avocado
    Phoradendron piperoides Viscaceae wiss
    Physalis philadelphica Solanaceae tomatilla
    Pimenta dioica Myrtaceae allspice / pence
    Pimenta dioica Myrtaceae pens, pence, allspice
    Piper amalago Piperaceae buttonwood
    Piper sp. Piperaceae cowfoot / Santa Maria
    Piscidia piscipula Fabaceae jabin
    Pluchea odorata Asteraceae santa maria (female)
    Plumeria rubra Apocynaceae frangipani
    Portulaca oleracea Portulaceae purslane
    Pouteria campechiana Sapotaceae canistel
    Pouteria sapota Sapotaceae mamey sapote
    Priva lappulaceae Verbenaceae mosote
    Protium sp. Burseraceae white copal, pom
    Psidium guajava Myrtaceae guava
    Psophocarpus tetragonolobus Fabaceae wing bean
    Psychotria tennifolia Rubiaceae dog's tongue
    Ricinus communis Euphorbiaceae castor bean
    Rollinia deliciosa Annonaceae rollinia
    Rosa chinensis Rosaceae rose
    Saccharum officinarum Poaceae sugarcane
    Salvia coccinea Lamiaceae chacalpec
    Schizolobium parahybum Leguminaseae quamwood
    Sechium edule Cucurbitaceae cho cho
    Senna alata Caesalpiniaceae piss a bed
    Sesamum indicum Pedaliacea sesame
    Sida rhombifolia Malvaceae escoba
    Smilax spp. Smilacaceae china root
    Sorghum bicolor Poaceae sorghum
    Spathodea campanulata Bignoniaceae African tulip tree
    Sphagneticola trilobata Asteraceae rabbit's paw
    Spondias dulcis Anacardiacea golden plum
    Spondias mombin Anacardiacea May plum
    Swietenia macrophylla Meliaceae mahogany
    Symphytum officinale Boraginaceae comfrey
    Syngonium podophyllum Araceae contra hierba
    Syzgium aqueum Myrtaceae water apple
    Syzgium jambos Myrtaceae rose apple
    Syzgium malaccense Myrtaceae molly (Malay) apple
    Syzgium samarangense Myrtaceae wax jambu
    Tabebuia ochracea Bignoniaceae cortez
    Tabebuia pentaphylla Bignoniaceae cortez
    Tabebuia rosea Bignoniaceae mayflower
    Tagetes sp. Compositae marigold
    Tamarindus indica Caesalpiniaceae tamarind
    Tephrosia purpurea Fabaceae tephrosia
    Terminalia catappa Combretaceae sea almond
    Theobroma cacao Sterculiaceae cacao
    Tithonia diversifolia Asteraceae titonia
    Vanilla planifolia Orchidaceae vanilla
    Vigna radiata Fabaceae mung beans
    Vigna unguiculata Fabaceae cow pea
    Zea mays Poaceae corn
    Caesalpiniaceae Doles carob
    Bignoniaceae mayflower
     
  11. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    a computer program could probably make mandalas for people and plan edibe fences for people based on their desires, by studying the plant guilds, light and soil requirements, etc.

    i have seen gardening programs that will allow you to do very crude design with graphical interface, there is no open source version and you have to buy them. it would be nice to see something for linux that is powerful and useful available freely, and that could access a database like this to aid the layman and professional alike. users could find out what other users are doing in their gardens, making a sort of region specific calander available. local native plants and successfully grown exotics immediately become known, according to their classification and uses.
     
  12. helgecko

    helgecko Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    those are good ideas inahd, but the amount of work involved would be staggering.

    I work for a small (geographically speaking) local government, and I'm good friends with the Strategic Tree Planning Officer. He's currently working (pretty much full time) on a project for our Council website which will be an interactive map regarding the different tree growing "regions" of our LGA, and lists of the appropriate species for each region. This will be so that residents will be able to click on their street on a map to receive a planting list, and the lists will include hyperlinks to further information on each of the recommended species. It's going to be a great resource, but it is literally taking my friend months of full-time work to pull it all together, and a lot of expert technical advice.

    It's great to have "big ideas" and to plan for the long term, but you run the risk of getting paralysed by aspiring to impossible tasks.
     
  13. Phil Hansen

    Phil Hansen Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    Somehow I think the idea of a 'Permie' species list is about as useful as tits on a bull!! Plants are plants and are only as useful as we want to make them and as appropriate to the 75 million microclimates that exist! Published climate zones are the biggest waste of time since toothpaste.

    Look around you. What grows where? Bother to do some research as to the cultural properties of each speciesto decide whether or not it pertains to the permaculture principles you are trying to achieve.

    I have had hundreds of 'permies' ask me why this or that plant has not worked, and they've read it in this or that text and it should work. Such simplified and common denominator lists are fraught with error and provide little more than a gross disservice to the betterment of the Permaculture industry. General databases of 'permaculture plants' do no more than the general nursery industry to promote sustainable land use and may in turn turn new, enthusiastic people away from the wonderful potentials of community engagement.

    Anyone who teaches or promotes Permaculture would do well to remember that it is essentially a design discipline and that species selection is secondary to how we manage the land.

    Phil
     
  14. nate_taylor

    nate_taylor Junior Member

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    West Coast Food Forestry

    As an artist I'd certainly agree that PC is primarily the design of whole systems, on-site, in person. But if trends continue then it's pretty clear (at least to me) that the permaculture movement will inevitably give rise to a globally integrated knowledge-base.

    I hail from the west coast of North America. This PDF is a great read, 13MB worth, many many species well organized with photos too:

    https://www.natetaylor.net/permaculture/food_forest.pdf
     
  15. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    Thanks Nate, that is a great resource.
     
  16. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Species List for Permaculturists ?

    :bump:
     

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