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Plants of Economic Importance

Last updated 5 months ago

  • 30607_88_88 Plantae > Fabaceae



    Many species of this genus yield commonly eaten beans, a significant source of non-animal protein for humans. Commonly eaten species include: P. acutifolius, P. coccineus, P. lunatus and P. vulgaris.

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

    Sort value: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

  • 85262_88_88 Plantae > Lamiaceae



    Sort value: Lamiaceae

  • 89916_88_88 Plantae > Moraceae

    Artocarpus altilis


    The breadfruit is believed to be native to a vast area extending from New Guinea through the Indo-Malayan Archipelago to Western Micronesia. It is said to have been widely spread in the Pacific area by migrating Polynesians, and Hawaiians believed that it was brought from the Samoan island of Upalu to Oahu in the 12th Century A.D. It is said to have been first seen by Europeans in the Marquesas in 1595, then in Tahiti in 1606. At the beginning of the 18th Century, the early English explorers were loud in its praises, and its fame, together with several periods of famine in Jamaica between 1780 and 1786, inspired plantation owners in the British West Indies to petition King George III to import seedless breadfruit trees to provide food for their slaves.

    Source: Morton, J. 1987. Breadfruit. p. 50–58. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

    Sort value: Moraceae

  • 90809_88_88 Plantae > Poaceae

    Setaria italica

    Foxtail Millet

    Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.) probably originated in southern Asia and is the oldest of the cultivated millets. Today, foxtail millet is grown primarily in eastern Asia. Proso millet is grown in the Soviet Union, mainland China, India and western Europe. In the United States, both millets are grown principally in the Dakotas, Colorado and Nebraska. Foxtail millet is usually grown for hay or silage often as a short-season emergency hay crop.

    Source: Alternative Field Crops Manual: Millets

    Sort value: Poaceae

  • 00153_88_88 Plantae > Poaceae

    Secale cereale

    Cereal Rye

    Cereal rye is cultivated for the grain, used to make flour, the importance of which is second only to wheat. Canadian and United States whiskies are made mainly from rye. Roasted grains substitute for coffee. Grains mixed with others are used for livestock feed. As pasturage, crop grazed fall or spring and then allowed to head-out and mature. Probably native to southwestern Asia, but now widely cultivated in the temperate regions of the world. Grown in every state in the United States, often where conditions are unfavorable for wheat.

    Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished: Secale cereale L.

    Sort value: Poaceae

  • 28174_88_88

    What do we eat?

    14 items; maintained by Eating biodiversity

  • 16996_88_88 Plantae > Asparagaceae

    Agave tequilana

    Blue Agave

    Agave tequilana, or Blue Agave, is the only species of agave that can be used to produce Tequila certified by the Mexican government. According to the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico, a distilled alcoholic spirit must be made from at least 51% Blue Agave to be recognized as Tequila under the Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM-006-SCFI-2012). Pure Tequila must be made from 100% Blue Agave (NOM-006-SCFI-2012).

    See "Detail" tab on species page to read more.

    Centro de Información de la Dirección General de Normas de la Secretaría de Economía (2012) NOM-006-SCFI-2012. Catálogo de Normas Oficiales Mexicanas.
  • 15574_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae