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Plants of Economic Importance

Last updated over 2 years ago

  • 02509_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Pistacia vera

    Pistachio Nut

    P. vera goes by many common names, such as Common Pistache, Pistachio Nut, Terebinth Nut or Green Almond. Although it has been associated with traditional medicinal uses in China and India, it is most widely bought and sold for use in food (Khare 2007). The seeds yield 40% non- drying oil but the oil is not commercially produced because the seed already has such a high commercial value on its own (Facciola 1990). Additionally, male trees yield a small amount of high quality resin that is used as an ingredient in paints and lacquers (Lim 2012; Komarov 2000).

    References:
    • Khare, CP. 2007. “Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary” (Springer)
    • Facciola, Stephen. 1990. “Cornucopia: A Source Book of Edible Plants” (Kampong Publications)
    • Komarov, VL. 2000 “Flora of the U.S.S.R” (Amerind Publishing Co.)
    • William M. Ciesla for the Forestry and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2002 “Non-Wood Products from Temperate Broad Leaf Trees” part of a series Non-Wood Forest Products 13 (FAO Cooperate Document Repository)
    • TK Lim. 2012 “Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants, vol. 1, Fruits”

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 95568_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Spondias

    Spanish Plums

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 65010_88_88 cellular organisms > Anacardiaceae

    Spondias radlkoferi

    One of the species commonly known as the hogplum, it is eatten by humans.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 45480_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Spondias purpurea

    Purple Mombin

    One of the species of plant called hogplum, it is cultivated for its lumber as well as its fruit.

    References:
    Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad Costa Rica (INBio)
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 02072_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Toxicodendron vernicifluum (Stokes) F. A. Barkley

    Chinese Lacquer

    Also known as the lacquer tree, it is the source of urushi lacquer.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 99645_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Semecarpus anacardium

    Markingnut Tree

    Sap from the unripe fruit of this tree is used to make dye.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 96759_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Schinopsis

    A genus of South American trees harvested for tannins.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families,"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 83923_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Anacardium

    One of the genera of Anacardiaceae which is routinely harvested for timber.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 11743_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Campnosperma

    One of the genera of Anacardiaceae harvested for timber.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 91639_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Gluta

    One of the genera of Anacardiaceae that is harvested for timber.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 93714_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae R. Brown, 1818

    Koordersiodendron

    One of the genera of Anacardiaceae that is harvested for timber.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 85771_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Metopium

    Florida Poisontree

    One of the genera of Anacardiaceae that is harvested for timber.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 59017_88_88 Plantae > Anacardiaceae

    Tapirira

    One of the genera of Anacardiaceae that is harvested for timber.

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Anacardiaceae

  • 39981_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Coriandrum sativum

    Coriander

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) with uses as a culiinary herb or spice.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • 35014_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Cuminum cyminum

    Cumin

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) with culinary uses as an herb or spice.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • 05237_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Anethum graveolens

    Dill

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) with uses as a culinary herb or spice.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • 50996_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Carum carvi

    Caraway

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) with culinary uses as an herb or spice.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • 79197_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Angelica sinensis

    Women's Ginseng

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) with well known gynecological uses in traditional Chinese medicine; it is also known as dong quai and "women's ginseng."

    References:
    Bennett, B. C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • 53045_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Centella asiatica

    Centella

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) with well known medicinal uses, it is also called gotu kola.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • Plantae > Apiaceae

    Arracacia xanthorrhiza

    Arracacha

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) that is cultivated as a crop in and around the Andes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • 14971_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Eryngium foetidum

    Cilantro

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbellifera) that is used as a culinary herb or spice.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbellifera)

  • 57884_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Pimpinella anisum

    Anise

    A member of the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) with uses as a culinary herb or spice.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

  • 29709_88_88 Plantae > Araceae

    Xanthosoma sagittifolium

    Arrowleaf Elephant's Ear

    "Central and South Americans use the tubers of elephant ear tubers in various meals. The tuber is one of the most popular foods in the country and provides a basic diet for many. The tubers can be harvested and stored for several weeks if refrigerated. Elephant ear is cultivated in many of the Central and South American countries. Taro is native to Africa and was brought as a food crop for slaves. It is also widely eaten in many areas of the Pacific."

    Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension: Elephant Ear

    Sort value: Araceae

  • 20684_88_88 Plantae > Arecaceae

    Bactris gasipaes

    Peach Palm

    Bactris gasipaes (peach palm) is a major staple for many Central American cultures as well as many cultures from the Northern part of South America. Its harvest is celebrated by the Shuar of Amazonian Ecuador with a well noted festival.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Arecaceae (Palmae)

  • 62879_88_88 Plantae > Arecaceae

    Metroxylon sagu

    Sago Palm

    Metroxylonsagu (sago palm) is an important food plant, which is evidenced by the Indonesian saying that where a sago palm grows “nobody ever goes hungry.” Starch can be extracted from it by soaking pieces of stem the plant’s stem in water.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Arecaceae (Palmae)

  • 32011_88_88 Plantae > Arecaceae

    Phytelephas aequatorialis

    Ecuadorian Ivory Palm

    The speices Phytelephas aequatorialis is one of multiple that provide tagua, a material also known as vegetable ivory. It is commonly used in crafting and jewelry.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Arecaceae (Palmae)

  • 26180_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Helianthus tuberosus

    Jerusalem Artichoke

    "Jerusalem artichoke is grown primarily for tubers which can be eaten fresh or raw, cooked in appetizing ways similar to Irish potatoes, or pickled. Tubers are used to fatten cattle, sheep and hogs. Stems and leaves are rich in fats, protein and pectin, and make good forage and silage. Jerusalem artichoke is a suitable crop in any soil and climate where corn will grow. It survives in poor soil and in areas as cold as Alaska. It tolerates hot to sub-zero temperatures."

    Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished: Helianthus tuberosus L.

    Sort value: Asteraceae

  • 55080_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Brassica napus

    Rapeseeds, Oilseed Rape (german: Raps)

    Brassica nappus has an edible taproot known as the vegetable "rutabaga," but it is also the source of rape seed oil, the world's third most important oil seed crop.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 36106_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Lepidium meyenii

    Maca

    Lepidium meyenii is known as Maca and cultivated as a crop in the Andes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 57006_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Eutrema japonicum

    Wasabi

    Eutrema japonicum, is also known as Eutrema wasabi, and the source of the condiment wasabi.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 63231_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Ipomoea batatas

    Sweet Potato

    "Cultivated mainly for the tuber, used as vegetable, eaten boiled, baked fried, or dried and ground into flour to make biscuits, bread, and other pastries. Tubers also dehydrated in chips, canned, cooked and frozen, creamed and used as pie fillings, much like pumpkin. Leafy tops eaten as vegetable and sold in markets in Malaysia. Greatly esteemed as feed for farm animals; with 3 kg green sweet potatoes equivalent to 1 kg of corn, with a food value rated 95–100% that of corn. Dry vines have feed value which compares favorably with alfalfa hay as forage."

    Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished: Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 26572_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Turbina corymbosa

    Christmas Vine

    Turbina corymbosa, commonly known as olouqui, is high in alkaloids including the alkaloid d-Lysergic acid amide to d-lysergic acid diethylamide, which is commonly abreviated as LSD.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 13092_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Ipomoea tricolor

    Grannyvine

    Is rich in alkaloids as with many other members of the family. Also known as badoh negro.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 63231_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Ipomoea

    Morning-glory

    Like the genus Convovulus, this genus contains species that are often significant weeds in agricultural fields but which are sometimes cultivated for ornamental purposes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 48528_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Convolvulus

    Tievine

    Like the genus Ipomoea, this genus contains species which are significant agricultural weeds but which are also sometimes cultivated as ornamental purposes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 22186_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Evolvulus

    Dwarf Morning-glory

    Some species of the genus Evolvus are popularly cultivated for ornamental purposes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 22777_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Jacquemontia

    Clustervine

    Some species of the genus Jacquemontia are popular as ornamental plants.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 62376_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Cucumis sativus

    Garden Cucumber

    Cucumis sativus is commonly known as cucumber--a popular and widely farmed vegetable.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 52734_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Sechium edule

    Chayote

    Sechium edule, also known as Chayote, is a New World tropical plant cultivated for its edible fruit.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 58036_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Cyclanthera pedata

    Achocha

    Cyclanthera pedata is commonly known by the name Achocha, the plant is cultivated in the New World tropics for its edible fruit.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 02488_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Luffa

    Luffa

    Mature fruits found in the genus Luffa are the source of loofa vegetable sponges. Which are commonly sold as a bathing accessory.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 10334_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Fevillea cordifolia

    Antidote Caccoon

    The seeds of this plant are a potential oil crop.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 94538_88_88 Plantae > Dioscoreaceae

    Dioscorea alata

    Water Yam

    "This member of the yam family (Dioscoreaceae) produces edible underground tubers. (Though most yams contain an acrid component, cooking makes them edible.) The large underground tubers of winged yam can weigh up to 100 pounds. Like air potato, winged yam also produces large numbers of aerial tubers, which are potato-like growths attached to the stems. These grow into new plants. Dioscorea species are cultivated for their edible tubers in West Africa where they are important commodities. Uncultivated forms (as in Florida) however are reported to be bitter and even poisonous. Dioscorea varieties, containing the steroid diosgenin, are a principal material used in the manufacture of birth-control pills. Research has shown that winged yam has antifungal properties."

    Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension: Winged Yam

    Sort value: Dioscoreaceae

  • 84735_88_88 Plantae > Dioscoreaceae

    Dioscorea

    Yams

    This genus contains several species of tubers which are food staples for tropical cultures including D. alata, D. bulbifera, D. cayenensis, D. dumetorum, D. esculenta, D. galbis, D. hispida, D. opposita, D. pentaphylla, D. rotundata and D. trifida. D. mexicana and other mexican species were the source of diosgenin, which was used to synthesize progesterone for the first synthetic birth control pills.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Dioscoreaceae

  • 33114_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Cnidoscolus aconitifolius subsp. aconitifolius

    Chaya

    The leaves of this plant are sources of vegetables.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 96460_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Caryodendron orinocense

    Tacay Nut

    This is an Amazonian specie whose edible seeds have potential for commercial development.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 63174_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Aleurites moluccanus

    Candle Nut Tree

    Aleurites molucanna is a significant source of oil, specifically tung oil.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 45223_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Vernicia fordii

    Tungoil Tree

    Veronica fordii is a significant source of oil.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 21687_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Müll. Arg.

    Pará Rubber Tree

    This tree is extremely valuable to humans, it is the source of latex and natural rubber and is the most economically important crop of the genus Hevea. It is grown on monoculture crop plantations mostly in South America and some parts of Africa.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 05530_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Homalanthus nutans

    Mamala Tree

    The AIDS drug prostratin was developed from this plant as a result of leads obtained from Paul Cox's work in Samoa.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae