National or regional inventories and websites about useful plants

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  • Burkill H.M., 1985-2004. The useful plants of West tropical Africa. vol. 1 : Families A-D. 1985, 960 p. ; vol. 2 : Families E-I. 1994, 636 p. ; vol. 3 : Families J-L. 1995, 857 p. ; vol. 4 : Families M-R. 1997, 969 p. ; vol. 5 : Families S-Z. Cryptogams. 2000, xi+686 p. ; vol. 6 : General Index, 2004, vii+1263 p. Addenda. 2000, 686 p. This series of books is a considerably increased version of Dalziel's book (1937). It mentions many names in African languages, and only briefly the uses. It contains no agronomical or management data. The site JSTOR gives only extracts of it.
  • Dalziel J. M., 1937. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. London, The Crown agents for the colonies, VIII-6l2 p. 2e éd., 1955.
  • Infonet-Biovision A website for East Africa, offering information for all aspects of agriculture, including crops and medicinal plants. Popular names are mostly Kenyan names. Only 48 crops and 10 medicinals (accessed 16 Dec. 2011). It is an independent project of Biovision Foundation Switzerland.
  • PROTA, 2004- ongoing. Plant Resources of tropical Africa. Published volumes: Vegetables, 2004; Dyes and tannins, 2005; Cereals and pulses, 2006; Oil plants, 2007; Timbers-1, 2008; Medicinal plants-1, 2008; Fibres, 2012. In preparation: Timbers-2, Medicinal plants-2. All volumes and the web site are bilingual English-French.


  • Correa Pio, 1926-78. Diccionário das plantas úteis do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro, Min. de Agricultura. 6 vol., 747 + 707 + 646 + 765 + 687 + 777 p.
  • Erichsen-Brown Charlotte, 1979. Use of plants for the past 500 years. Aurora, Ontario, Breezy Creek Press. xiv-512 p. Historical attestations of useful wild plants in North America ; the book excludes crops. Its interest is to give long quotations, referenced and ordered by date; a drawback is that quotations from francophone authors are only given translated into English.
  • Hammer Karl, Esquivel Miguel & Knüpffer Helmut (eds), 1992-94. "...y tienen faxones y fabas muy diversos de los nuestros..." Origin, evolution and diversity of Cuban plant genetic resources. Gatersleben, Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung. 3 vol. vol. 1 : 1992, 212 p. vol. 2 : 1992, pp. 213-454. vol. 3 : 1994, XVIII p.+ pp. 455-824. A complete inventory for Cuba. on line in Pl@ntUse.
  • New World Fruit Database Inventory of all fruit species of the Americas. Created within a common program of Bioversity-Cali and CIRAD, and hosted by Bioversity.
  • Moerman, Daniel E., 1998. Native American ethnobotany. Portland (Oregon), Timber Press. 927 p. On line at: Native American Ethnobotany. Data cover the uses of Amerindians of the United-States. They are unfortunately scanty, and do not mention popular names.
  • Parodi Lorenzo, 1959. Enciclopedia argentina de agricultura y jardinería. 1- Descripción de las plantas cultivadas. Buenos-Aires, ACME. 932 p.
  • Parodi Lorenzo, 1987. Enciclopedia argentina de agricultura y jardinería. 1- Descripción de las plantas cultivadas. Tercera edición ampliada y actualizada bajo la dirección de Milan J. Dimitri. 2 vol. Buenos-Aires, ACME, vol. 1 : pp. 1-654 ; vol. 2 : pp. 655-1163.
  • Patiño Victor Manuel, 1963-74. Plantas cultivadas y animales domésticos en América equinoccial. Cali, Imp. Departamental. 6 vol.: 1- Frutales, 1963, 547 p.; 2- Plantas alimenticias, 1964, 364 p.; 3- Fibras, medicinas, misceláneas, 1967, 569 p.; 4- Plantas introducidas, 1969, 571 p.; 5- Animales domésticos introducidos, 1970, 379 p.; 6- Plantas ornamentales, 1974, 383 p. An important set of books, as the author made a thorough compilation of attestations by chroniclers and historians, with popular names in the diverse Amerindian languages and Spanish. By "equinoxial" America, "intertropical" has to be understood .
  • Williams Louis O., 1981. The useful plants of Central America. Ceiba (Tegucigalpa), 24 (1-2) 342 p.; index 24 (3-4) : 343-381.


  • Brown W. H., 1951-58. Useful plants of the Philippines. vol. 1-3. Manila, Dept. Agric. Nat. Res., Tech. Bull. 10.
  • Burkill Isaac H., 1935. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. London, The Crown agents for the colonies. 2 vol. 2402 p. Reprint Kuala Lumpur, Min. Agric., 1966. 2 vol. 2444 p.
  • Crevost Ch., Lemarié Ch. et Pételot, 1910-1941. Catalogue des produits de l'Indochine. Hanoï. 6 vol. Published first as a set of articles in the Bulletin Economique de l'Indochine.
  • Heyne K., 1927. Die nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië. 2e herziene en vermeerdeerde druk. Batavia, Depart. van landbouw, nijverheid en handel. 3 vol. 1450-XXXLI p. vol. 1: 732 p. vol. 2: pp. 733-1450; vol. 3: pp. 1451-1662 (list of plants observed by use group) + CCXLI p. (index of scientific and common Indonesian names). ca. 3000 plants. PROSEA was intended to update this old book, that very few Indonesians can read now (it is in Dutch).
  • PROSEA, 1989-2003. Plant Resources of South-East Asia. 19 vol. Wageningen, PUDOC-PROSEA / Bogor, PROSEA). On Internet: PROSEA (click on e-prosea). The website is not user-friendly, and part of data are lacking. Text and images are on separate databases.
  • Reyes, L.J., 1938. Philippine woods. Manila, Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Technical Bulletin No 7. Manila, Bureau of Printing. 536 p. + 88 plates.
  • Wealth of India (The), 1948-1976. A dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. New-Delhi, Council of scientific and industrial research. 11 vol. + 2 suppl. for raw materials (plant, animal and mineral), and 9 vol. for industrial products. Letters A to C benefit from revised and increased editions. An essential source of information. see details.


  • Plants For A Future (PFAF). This site is intended to cover "edible and otherwise useful plants suitable for growing outdoors in a temperate climate" (indeed it is Cornwall). It was created by a charitable company called Plants For A Future and their database currently consists of approximately 7000 species of plants, well documented.