We have seperated the plants in this virtual book into 11 broad categories of use. Some plants belong to more than one category.

Categories are accessed by selecting CATEGORIES from the menu bar, or by selecting a category from the drop-down menu on the home page.

After selecting a category you will see a brief explanation, and to the left a list of plants or plant products which associated with the category. Select one of these plants to explore it in more detail.

The categories used are listed below.

  • Animal fodder - These plants are eaten directly by domestic animals and farm stock, or are processed into fodder for their consumption.
  • Beverages - These plants are processed into drink products for human consumption.
  • Building materials - Plants and plant products that provide wood used in construction of buildings, or for making articles such as furniture or paper.
  • Fibres - Fibres used in a variety of products, from cloth to rope and paper.
  • Food additives - Products from these plants are eaten directly, usually as an addition to other foods, or processed into food products for human consumption.
  • Food crops - These plants are eaten directly or processed into food products for human consumption. (See Animal fodder for domestic animal feeds.)
  • Important drugs - These plants contain compounds that act as medicinal or narcotic drugs on the human body.
  • Miscellaneous inedible - Products from these plants are used in various treatment processes to provide finished articles.
  • Oils, fats and waxes - These are non-edible, oily or waxy substances that are used as lubricants, polishes or perfumes.
  • Polymers - These plants contain substances consisting of long-chains of molecules (polymers) that are used in industrial products.
  • Recreation products - These plants provide products used for enjoyment or to enhance our daily lives.

From: Seeds of trade (

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