Plants to Save the Planet: the Biomass Argument

  Biomass in gigatons of carbon (GtC) is a measure of abundance in the biosphere. Perhaps it is no surprise that the most abundant taxonomic group is plants at 450 GtC, but I was surprised to learn that all animals (arthropods, chordates etc.) weigh in at only 2 GtC. I was also very surprised that […]

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‘Plants to Save the Planet’ – Plants For A Future’s 2019-20 Project

The main role of (PFAF) for over 10 years has been to provide freely available non-commercial access to our database of over 8000 useful plants, for food, medicines and other uses. PFAF is very dependent on a flow of many small and a few larger donations from our users, with some revenue from sales of […]

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Plants to Save the Planet

In his book Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, Edward O. Wilson argues that the solution to the present planetary crisis is to dedicate half the surface of the Earth to wild nature.[1] The other half Earth would be used to meet human needs for food and everything else, including all our structures and materials. […]

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Service Tree, Sorb Apple | Sorbus domestica


A delicious fruit for the autumn. Sorbus domestica is a deciduous tree growing to 15m (50ft) at a medium rate with a trunk up to 1m (3′ 4″) in diameter. On exposed sites it may only grow to be a shrub 2 – 3m (6–10ft) tall. Leaves are 15-25cm (6–10”) long, pinnate with 13 – […]

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Tropical | Cashew | Anacardium occidentale


A favourite nut growing on large evergreen trees, Cashew (Anacardium occidentale), grows up to 10-12m tall with a short and usually irregularly-shaped trunk. The dwarf version growing to 6m is preferred for commercial crops. It has spreading branches and a canopy that can spread up to 12 m. The leaves are arranged in an alternate […]

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Edible Weeds | Urtica dioica | Stinging Nettle

Nettle image

Stinging Nettle is a fantastic underused weed with excellent edible, medicinal and other uses. The Young leaves are cooked as a potherb and added to soups etc. They can also be dried for winter use. Nettles are a very valuable addition to the diet, they are a very nutritious food that is easily digested and […]

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Apple Serviceberry, Juneberry | Amelanchier lamarckii

Serviceberry is a small deciduous tree or large shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 4 m (13ft). It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees.  The plant is self-fertile. Good planting habitats include […]

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Valentine’s Plants | Peonies

peony image

A gorgeous plant in the garden but do you know they also have medicinal and edible uses? A lovely Valentine’s plant, peony flowers are reported to have a number of meanings including prosperity, romance, compassion, and bashfulness. In Greek myth a nymph named Paeonia, whose beauty attracted the attention of Apollo, was turned into a […]

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Using the Plant Database Search

Plants For A Future have an excellent search tool to help you find plants for your project out of the 7700 available in the database. The Search tool can now be found on the homepage at Search techniques includes: search by name search by keyword you can browse plants common and Latin names by […]

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