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Other uses

To make it easy to search the database for plants which fulfil a specific use, a table has been created which indexes the different plants by their other uses (soap, fibre etc). You can select one of the uses shown below and then do a search to find all plants with that use. More detailed on the uses is contained in the other uses field in the main database table.
Adhesive (44)
Alcohol (5)
used for fuel etc. (this is wood alcohol, it is not the sort that can be drunk.
Baby care (6)
various plants that can be used in place of items such as nappies.
Basketry (142)
plant used in making baskets and other items such as chairs. Includes plants that are only used as an ornamental addition.
Beads (19)
used in necklaces etc.
Bedding (11)
used as a lining for sleeping on or putting fruits etc on.
Besom (5)
a type of broom.
Biomass (52)
provides a large quantity of plant material that can be converted into fuel etc.
Blotting paper (1)
Plant fibres that can be used to make blotting paper.
Bottles (1)
Gourds and other thick-shelled fruits that can be used to carry liquids.
Broom (20)
Branches of plants that are used as brooms.
Brush (10)
clothes, paint etc.
Buttons (8)
Used for buttons.
Charcoal (70)
used for fuel, drawing, deodorant, filter, fertilizer etc.
Cleanser (19)
for various materials. Perhaps best included under separate headings.
Compost (49)
plants used for activating compost heaps, as instant compost etc.
Containers (7)
Used as containers
Cork (13)
including any plants used as a cork substitute. Cork is used for insulation (sound or heat), fire-retardant, bottle stops etc.
Cosmetic (55)
Used as a cosmetic
Cotton wool (1)
plants that can be used as substitutes.
Darning ball (1)
Used for a darning ball
Deodorant (8)
A pleasant smelling plant that is used on the body to mask the human smell.
Disinfectant (7)
Used as a disinfectant
Dye (1110)
See also: Mordant (45) (fixing agent), Tannin (235), Ink (40), Paint (6), Size (14) (preparing surfaces to take dye). Also see below for various dye colours.
Essential (267)
essential oils that are used in perfumery, medicines, paint solvents, insect repellents etc.
Fencing (1)
Used for fencing
Fertilizer (3)
provides a concentrated solid plant food.
Fibre (253)
used for making cloth, rope, paper etc.
Filter (2)
used to strain out particles from liquids.
Fire retardant (10)
plants that do not easily burn and can be used in barrier plantings to limit the spread of forest fires.
Friction sticks (1)
used for starting fires when there are no matches.
Fruit ripening (2)
substances that promote the premature or rapid ripening of fruits.
Fuel (178)
usually wood that has been mentioned as being a good fuel.
Fungicide (32)
arrests the growth or kills fungi.
Furniture (1)
a few miscellaneous uses that do not fit easily into other headings.
Green manure (51)
Used as a compost or mulch material
Ground cover (421)
usually low growing plants that can be grown with other plants, especially shrubs and trees, to prevent the growth of weeds.
Gum (81)
a wide range of uses, especially as stabilizers, emulsifiers, thickening agents, adhesives etc.
Hair (80)
used as shampoos, tonics etc.
Hedge (386)
plants that can be grown as hedges.
Herbicide (85)
plants or plant extracts that can inhibit the growth of other plants.
Incense (46)
aromatic plants that can be burnt to impart a pleasant smell, repel insects and disinfect closed areas.
Ink (40)
Used as an Ink.
Insecticide (129)
kills insects.
Insulation (21)
providing insulation against heat, sound or electricity.
Kindling (2)
plant material that burns easily and can be used for starting fires.
Lacquer (6)
a type of varnish.
Latex (61)
a source of rubber.
Leather (3)
substitutes, that is.
Lighting (11)
does not include oils, waxes, candles etc.
Lining (9)
used for lining boxes, baskets etc so that fragile items can be more safely carried in them.
Liquid feed (28)
for plants, that is.
Litmus (8)
used for testing whether a substance is acid or alkaline.
Microscope (6)
Used in making microscopes.
Miscellany (46)
a rag-bag of items that are difficult to categorise.
Mordant (45)
used for making a dye more permanent, it also affects the colour of the dye.
Mulch (43)
used for covering the ground to conserve the nutrients in the soil.
Musical (14)
specific mention of plants used as musical instruments. Does not include the various woods that can be used for making musical instruments.
Nails (3)
a few woods are tough enough to be used in place of metal nails in certain circumstances.
Needles (7)
used for sowing, darning etc.
Oil (257)
vegetable oils have many uses, as lubricants, lighting, soap and paint making, waterproofing etc. This does not include the edible oils unless they are also mentioned as having other uses.
Packing (10)
used as a filler in boxes etc in order to protect the contents.
Paint (6)
plants used directly as a paint. Does not include oil plants and dyes that can be used to make paints.
Paper (140)
related to the entry for Fibre, these plants have been specifically mentioned for paper making.
Parasiticide (56)
kills parasites.
Pectin (6)
a substance that is used to thicken jams etc and as a culture medium in laboratories.
Pencil (2)
a couple of plants especially mentioned for making the tubes that pencil leads fit into.
Pins (4)
used as needles and pins in sowing etc.
Pioneer (33)
Plants, usually trees and shrubs, that can be used to reforest land.
Pipes (5)
For carrying water etc.
Pitch (7)
used for waterproofing, in paints etc.
Plant breeding (2)
used in producing new species of plants or improved varieties.
Plant support (28)
usually bamboos, used as canes in the garden for holding up plants.
Plaster (1)
used for covering walls.
Polish (18)
for metals, wood etc.
Pollution (12)
plants used to combat pollution.
Porcelain (2)
Used in making porcelain.
Pot-pourri (42)
aromatic plants used to impart a pleasant smell to an area. Can this be grouped with incense or essential oil?
Potash (12)
used for making glass, soap and as a fertilizer.
Preservative (42)
for food, or for treating wood, ropes etc.
Raffia (1)
a substitute for that material.
Repellent (392)
plants that are said to deter but not necessarily kill various mammals, birds, insects etc.
Resin (72)
used in perfumery, medicines, paints, soap making etc. This also includes turpentine, which is extracted from many resins and used as a preservative, water proofer etc,
Roofing (6)
used to give a waterproof roof to buildings.
Rooting hormone (20)
substances that can be used to promote the production of roots in plant cuttings.
Rootstock (68)
plants used as the root for grafting scions onto.
Rust (4)
plants that can be used to prevent or treat rust.
Sandpaper (3)
plants used to smooth rough wooden surfaces by means of abrasion.
Scourer (3)
used for cleaning pots, pans, plates etc.
Shelterbelt (101)
wind resistant plants than can be grown to provide shelter in the garden etc.
Size (14)
used on materials, paper etc to give a surface that will take ink, dyes etc.
Soap (97)
plants used directly as a soap substitute.
Soap making (10)
plants used as an ingredient in making soaps. Does not include the essential oils, dyes and oils that are also used in making soap.
Soil conditioner (6)
plants grown to improve the structure of the soil. See also Green manures.
Soil reclamation (26)
plants that can be grown in such circumstances as the spoil tips of mines in order to restore fertility.
Soil stabilization (197)
plants that can be grown in places such as sand dunes in order to prevent erosion by wind, water or other agents.
Starch (30)
used as a fabric stiffener.
Straw (4)
for drinking from.
Strewing (49)
plants, usually aromatic, that are strewn on the floor to give a nice smell, repel insects etc.
String (30)
plants that can be used as they are as a temporary string. See also Fibre.
Stuffing (43)
used in soft toys, mattresses, pillows etc.
Tannin (235)
An astringent substance obtained from plants, it is used medicinally, as a dye and mordant, stabilizer in pesticide etc.
Teeth (24)
plants used to clean the teeth etc.
Thatching (76)
used for making thatched roofs.
Tinder (34)
used for starting fires. See also Kindling.
Varnish (7)
plants that can be used as a varnish without any special treatment. Does not include varnishes made from oils etc.
Waterproofing (9)
does what it says.
Wax (24)
used for candles etc.
Waxed paper (1)
substitutes that is.
Weather forecasting (6)
a few plants that are supposed to help us forecast the weather.
Weather protection (6)
plants that can be used to give the body protection from severe weather.
Weaving (96)
items such as grass leaves that are woven together for various purposes. See also Basket making and Fibre.
Wick (11)
used as a wick for candles, lamps etc.
Wood (862)
a list of the trees and shrubs that are noted for having useful wood.

Other Plant Uses

In the following queries it will search for a particular word or phrase, in the description of the other use.

Dye colours

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Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future - Species Database.
Copyright (c) 1997-2000. Last Update: Feb 2000.
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