Welcome on Pl@ntUse
the wiki about useful plants and plant uses
Schmelzer G. H. & A. Gurib-Fakim (eds), 2013. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. Volume 11 (2) : Medicinal plants. Wageningen, PROTA-CTA. 384 p.
The second volume of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) about medicinal plants has just been published, in English and French. 146 articles describe or mention 409 species. 894 species were already included in volume 1. It is the first time that such a synthesis is undertaken at the continent level. It covers as well what is of interest for the botanist as for the pharmacist.
This volume is added to the eight already published on useful plants. All data is put on line on the PROTA website, in English and French, which now constitutes the best on line encyclopedia about useful plants.
Unfortunately, this will be the last book published by PROTA, as the program has to stop due to lack of funding, at a time when people speak of sustainable agriculture or biodiversity. The need to rely on an exhaustive knowledge base about our plant resources will surely be felt later, but when ?
The books can be purchased through CTA or Earthprint.
24 January 2014
The plant of the month: Japanese varnishtrees
Arbor cæli, caju langit, aylanto, hemelboom Rumphius
(1743), Herbarium amboinense
In 2002, we had a thorough discussion in the francophone forum of Tela Botanica about Japanese varnishtrees. To make things simple, we have the true Japanese varnishtree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum), the false one (Ailanthus altissima) and the false-false (Toona sinensis).
Pl@ntUse just reorganized such data, adding in-depth details. 13 Rhus, 3 Toxicodendron, 2 Cotinus and 31 Searsia used worlwide have been inventoried, as well as Ailanthus and Toona. As for ailanthus, the origin of the name has been clarified : Rumphius made it known in the West under the form aylanto, and we find even today in Moluccas an Ailanthus which is called ai lanit, corresponding exactly to Indonesian kayu langit, "heaven's tree".
As a gift, you will find thorough notes on the etymology of names such as Ailanthus, Rhus and sumac.
Pages have been created only in French for the moment, due to lack of time. You can help us translating!
What is Pl@ntUse?
Pl@ntuse is a collaborative space for exchange of information on useful plants and uses of plants. It is not intended to duplicate existing encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), but to offer additional features such as:
The working method
It is of course scalable and open for discussion. But the basic idea is not to produce consensus summaries. It is rather to provide reliable material to allow everyone to make his/her own synthesis. A priority is to upload the data sets that underlie the work, but are rarely published, forcing everyone to start from scratch.
Any kind of page may be created. Templates have been devised to create pages with a similar structure and with similar content. Such pages are easily accessible through categories or portals. If you intend to upload new types of information, please ask the administrators, who will help you create and use a new template.
As is customary in the scientific community, we mention the author of each contribution. However, most of the contributions may be corrected or updated, as far as they reach consensus. See Help:Authors of contributions
Each page is potentially available in English and French. By default, we will begin with English, except for books written in French. You can collaborate by translating.