Looking for a new plant for your garden or architectural endeavor?
By Matt Kopjak
August 4, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--Choosing the right plant for your garden can be a daunting task, but with Plants-Pedia you can sift through 48,000 plants from the USDA plants database and narrow down your choices, complete with charts and images. You can filter your options by growth period, soil texture, lifespan, shade tolerance, temperature, toxicity, fire tolerance, drought tolerance and more, depending on your needs. This tool is simple enough for the average gardener and has enough advanced options to be useful for even the most experienced botanist.
Interested in trekking into the wilderness and cutting down your own Christmas tree this year? Check out the list of 32 plants commonly used as Christmas trees. Want blossoms all year long? Check out a list of winter flowering plants that will keep your garden colorful even in the cold months. If you want to make sure your garden is full of edible berries and seeds check out the list of over 100 options.
Drought Tolerant Plants
Do you live in an area with little rainfall? You may think nothing can survive in that environment, but there are over 400 plants in the database with high drought tolerance. No shade? No problem. With over 900 plants labeled as intolerant to shade, you will have plenty to choose from. If you live in the other extreme and are not foreign to negative temperatures, you can sort plants by minimum temperature. Some have a minimum temperature of -79°F so you’re sure to find one that can survive in your habitat.
Whenever you’re in the market for a new landscape—whether in your home garden or the grounds of a university—one thing you should always be aware of is plant toxicity. This database allows you to sort toxicity levels from none to severe. There are 34 plants that you should stay away from; though many have beautiful blossoms, the effects of accidental contact or consumption could be severe.
Fire Resistant Plants
If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, then you might want to consider plants that are fire resistant. The words “fire resistance” and “plants” aren’t usually found in the same sentence, but surprisingly there are over 600 plants that are labeled by the USDA as being highly resistant to fire.