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plant databases/plant list with cultural notes

Posted by LucusD NSW Aust (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 12, 05 at 23:35

Hi everyone,

I have a query and would be very happy if anyone could help. I am thinking about compiling a plant database to help me with simple references when Im out at work. I currently work as a landscape gardener and often need details on the cultural requirements (pruning, flowering times etc.) of plants. I just purchased a palm PDA and it can display excel files which would be perfect for my situation. Simply put Im just looking for an alphabetical list of plant names and any associated notes associated with them.Im from Sydney Australia so I guess thats a warm temperate region. Are there any good databases or even text files or lists out there which could help me compile my own database? Im happy to buy one but unfortunately I cant find anything that would suit my needs.

If anyone could help me on this matter it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: plant databases/plant list with cultural notes

Don't know if it will help, but the giant two book set 'Flora' an encyclopedia of blooming plants of the world, comes with a cd. I've only opened it once but it appears to be the whole book on disk. Besides extra photos it had cultural requirements.

RE: plant databases/plant list with cultural notes

I'll be interested to see if anyone has seen such a critter! I'm building my own as I do designs. The best I've got is a publication from VA Tech. I don't know if you've got any of the shrubs on it down there, but here's the link-

Here is a link that might be useful: Shrub Pruning calendar

RE: plant databases/plant list with cultural notes

Lucus -
I built my own by scavenging from several local plant lists (for Phoenix, AZ). I grabbed them, did what was necessary to get into a table, sorted by genus and species, deleted dupes, then added notes for the plants I planned to use for the project I was developing. As I research a plant, I add detail.

My categories:
Genus Species Variety CommonName Form Notes
(form is tree, vine, etc.)

RE: plant databases/plant list with cultural notes

Hi everybody,

Just a quick thanks for all your replies, I definitely was not expecting them all so quickly. I appreciate your ideas especially the link "Shrub Pruning Calender" posted by creatrix, this will be a great start :) (although Ill need to transpose seasons for the southern hemisphere)

I found a fantastic piece of software for my palm called "Smartlist to Go" which will help compile everything. The 'Flora' book set is great but if it's anything like my old 'Botanica' Encyclopaedia with cd rom, it may disallow cutting and pasting text which in the end is next to useless.

Once again thanks for the replies.

RE: plant databases/plant list with cultural notes

Dear Luke,

I am so excited to tell you that I just found this link for you! (Only a plant person could get excited about a database, right?)

This is a not-for-profit org, and I use the site ALL the time to look up every plant. And it's so perfect for you in Australia, since the database is global!

And now I just discovered that you can download the whole thing. If you do, then you can just use the asci text version of the thing to import into your excel program.

Here's how: Open Excel. File, Open, Files of Type: *.txt, highlight the file, Open, Type: Delimited, File Origin: Windows ANSI, Next, Delimiters: Tab, Text Qualifier: ", Next, Finish.

If it does not work the first time, then continue to change the parameters, one at a time, like, try Delimiters: comma, etc.

Well, I hope you find it useful. In the meantime, I will keep running around in circles in my empty room waving my arms in the air shouting, "I am a genius!" at the computer screen. :->

Very truly yours,

P.S. Thanks for the info about the software for the PDA. I would like to try that someday, now that I am in the league of the geniuses!

Plants for a Future (PFAF)

are a registered charity; we are compiling a database, which currently consists of approximately 7000 species of plants. We research and provide information on edible and otherwise useful plants suitable for growing outdoors in a temperate climate.

Downloading the Database
We offer several methods of downloading the database.
Internet Download:
Download now! Includes the latest Sept 03 version of the database and gallery of 400 photos. To download the database you first need to make a payment through PayPal once the payment has been made you will be taken to the download page. Just click on one of the images: Standard Home User: 35 $65
Low income/unwaged: 15
Commercial: 100. $180

CD-ROM By Post:
If you want us to send you the database on CD-ROM please write to:
a minimum donation of 10 is required to cover our costs. We can only accept payment in pound sterling from UK bank acounts or payment via

There are six versions of the database, all contain the same data, its only the interface which is different. The CDROM comes with all versions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants for a Future Database

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