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The Species Database

Asphodeline lutea One of the major projects of Plants For A Future has been the compilation of the Species Database. This contains details of nearly 7000 plants, all of which are either edible, have medicinal properties or have some other use such as fibres, oils or soaps. For each plant the database contains details of the uses of the plants, as well as information on the environment it will grow in, and cultivation details.

The database can be searched on the web at three sites School of Computer Science in Leeds in the UK, ibiblio at UNC in the US and Environmantal Sollutions in Australia. Many thanks to all sites for the space.

We are in the process of putting the database on CD-ROM this will be much like the web version but with over 500 plant pictures on it. Its in beta test at the moment and you can download a copy from the ftp site.

The full database is available in Microsoft Access 2.0 format, either via snail mail from PFAF or via ftp from me. ASCII text and other formats may also be available. See How to get hold of the database for more details. You can even set things up so you have your very own version of the web database search engine running at home.

Ken Fern the compiler of the database writes:

"The information contained in this database has been collected over a number of years from research in libraries, visits to Botanical and other gardens in Britain and, to a much smaller degree at present, from our own experiences of growing the plants. It contains details on more than 6700 species and, until the end of 1992, this was kept in written records. Obviously, it is very difficult to find all the specific information one requires from about 4,000 sheets of A4 paper, no matter how hard you try to build up an index system, and so it was decided to transfer the information to a computer database program using an IBM compatible computer. Having been totally computer illiterate until the middle of 1992, I must apologize for any inadequacies you might find in the way the information is presented in the database, and for the lack of a user-friendly interface to guide you through it - hopefully through continual improvement these matters will be gradually improved."

A previous WWW interface to the database was the Plant Tracker put together by our good friend Lee Flier unfortunately the service provider had too pull it because it was being too heavily used. But many thanks to Lee for all the work she put in.

If you happen to be an ISP and would like to host a mirror version of the database please send us an email and help increase the coverage of this important resource.

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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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