[permaculture] Re: Localized Plant DB

Scott Hitchins ScottH at wcig.org.au
Wed Sep 11 00:40:49 EDT 2002

In regards to providing information on plants for differing regions; You have probably seen schemes that give different numbers or colours to various generalised 'zones' (non-permie usage) of entire countries; many books and seed packets use simple or more complex systems that are generally useful........but take no account of microclimate, elevation, soil-moisture, pH etc, etc. How 'bout a system that does take these into account and pretty much ignores zones (except real permie ones).  It seems to me that it would be fairly simple to set-up a cross-referencing system like the plants for a future database, but with the necessary parameters set by rigorous debate amongst ourselves; once established, it would be very simple to add to it Wikki-style.  You would then just need to know the parameters of where you want to plant and what jobs the plant must perform: enter these details and generate a list of suitable plants.  I realise there are already a few of these databases around, but they don't quite get there permaculture-wise or  with wikki-wise accessibility that gives them the ability to evolve. 

Scott Hitchins. 

erent-----Original Message-----
From: Heide Hermary [mailto:heidehermary at pacificcoast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, 11 September 2002 1:59 PM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Re: Localized Plant DB

This is pretty much what we will be creating for the SOUL (Society of 
Organic Urban Land Care Professionals) website, because those are 
everyday considerations for us. It'll be up by the end of the year, with 
the first 20 plants, and I'm hoping that we can link it to the 
percaculture Wiki.  I still haven't figured out how to accommodate 
different regional information: for instance I know how a plant will 
perform along the Southern Coast of  British Columbia, Canada, but I 
have no idea what it will do in Australia or heaven knows where.  I know 
that's where the Wiki comes in, but I'm not clear how to set up the 
database so it can be searched and amended intelligentl. If anybody has 
experience with this I would appreciate some advice.  I've got a bunch 
of plant information all ready, just need to do the database.

BK wrote:

>Reguarding the suggestions on the plant DB I had 2 ideas:
>First, perhaps a Plant DB (database) could primarily focus on the habitat
>conditions it likes to grow in, versus the region. With the changes likely
>to occur in climate due to global warming, etc, might it be best to describe
>plants as: Grows well between (50-60 degrees F). (Frost hardy). Grows well
>with (little water)-(x inchs/year). Prefers shade. Invasive in (warm)
>(humid) climates. Invasive problem in (Kansas, Tenn., Colorado US,
>Argentina). Native to (Asia).
>Etc, etc. Perhaps a map of the globe, nation, state, region, watershed, has
>more detailed climatic info, which could then be used to hone a list of
>plants, suited to the region. This leaves open the possiblity of searching
>for microclimatically suited plants, etc. Perferrably, the DB could be added
>too by the users.
>Secondly, how about an interactive plant identification system. A page opens
>with drop down menus, Leaf Shape: small pictures with ovate, etc terms
>ilustrated. Growth Habit: illustrations from which to choose. Flower
>color:...Flower shape:....all the other things used to id plants. Perhaps
>(server intensive) as more info is added, a list of the top five matchs is
>shown that relate to the info so far. Info about where it was found could be
>added (GPS, or region, state). Plants that grew with it, etc.
>I'm sure all these ideas have been hashed over before by professional
>fields. Though while searching sourceforge, I note that they seem to be
>focused highly on technical issues. It'd be nice to get a few programmers
>interested in creating a opensource plant db of the sort above. It seems the
>opensource community has an ethic of the public good, perhaps it could be
>applied toward these things.
>permaculture mailing list
>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org

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