Plants for a Future – A brilliant database of 7,000 plants that are not commonly used as food but could be!
“Plants For A Future is a resource centre for rare and unusual plants, particularly those which have edible, medicinal or other uses. We practise vegan-organic permaculture with emphasis on creating an ecologically sustainable environment based largely on perennial plants.” – quoted from site.www.pfaf.org
Ecological Flora of the British Isles
This is a superb site with excellent photos – ideal when used in conjunction with the above site.
From the Ecological Flora site:
“The Ecological Database of the British Isles has been constructed from a wide variety of sources by Dr Helen Peat and Professor Alastair Fitter at the University of York, with financial support from the British Ecological Society and the Natural Environment Research Council. It consists of data on over 2200 species of higher plants that occur in the British Isles, together with the bibliography of sources. This version has been produced by Dr Henry Ford.
The data comprises information on taxonomy (family, genus, specific name, authority, and vernacular name, together with a synonomy), a suite of over 130 ecological and morphological characteristics, vice-county distribution in Britain, European distribution by country, mycorrhizal associations, phytophagous insects and fungal diseases. The data are obtained from the literature and therefore coverage varies greatly between species. Some data sets are incomplete at this stage.”
Botanical Society of the British Isles
Identify a plant (find this option by entering the main site above)
As this page says:
” You can find interesting plants everywhere in Britain and Ireland. This site is intended to help you identify them.
On the following pages you will be presented with a questionnaire on the characteristics of the plant you are trying to identify. Fill in the form and press search, the computer will then try and identify the plant you have found.
You may also like to use the system to obtain a check-list of plants from a particular habitat or perhaps find flowers of a particular colour to grow in your garden. Feel free to experiment, there are many uses for the system.”
Plant distribution maps from the National Biodiversity Network. (To find these enter the main site by following the link below, scroll half way down the page and click on the link on the left that reads: ‘NBN Gateway’ Click for biodiversity data.
The National Biodiversity Network allows you to view distribution maps and download UK wildlife data by using a variety of interactive tools. One can search for wild food plants and, best of all, it is possible to browse for species (plants, animals and insects) of conservation concern. Through foraging, the last thing I would want to encourage is for anybody to deplete our natural environment. One thing to bear in mind is that although a wild food source may seem freely and abundantly available it is possible that some of the insect species it supports are themselves threatened or in decline.
Click here to go to the main site:NBN
Roger’s Trees and Shrubs
This site is designed to help with tree and shrub identification. It features over 9,000 illustrations of trees from all over the world both hardy and tender: from Pines to Prunus, from Oaks to Eucalyptus, Magnolia, Acer and Hamamelis plus shrubs including Bamboo, Camellia, Ceanothus, Clematis, Echium, Fuchsia, Grevillea, Hibiscus, Passiflora, Rhododendron and Viburnum. Text and pictures are based on published and unpublished work of authors Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix.
Wild Food and Foraging
Some ideas for harvesting wild foods