The star rating system has been developed to obtain a quick impression of the importance of a plant species for different categories, without reading the text.
In the ‘Search’ screen it is also possible to sort plant species according to a category. The species with most stars for that category will then be shown first. If you choose ‘do not sort’ in the drop-down table, the species in your search will be shown alphabetically.
If you do not choose anything from the star ratings, the species found in your search will be shown according to the 'General importance', so first the species with 5 stars, then 4 stars etcetera.
Only star ratings for which at least 1 star is present, will be shown.
In case you find an omission or error for the star ratings, please inform us by e-mail.
If you type in the 'Search for Uses' field the word 'vegetable', you get more than 850 results. This means that in the paragraph on 'uses', somewhere the word 'vegetable' is mentioned.
These 850 species are sorted on 'General importance', not on 'most important vegetable'.
If you combine the word 'vegetable' in the field 'Search for Uses' with star rating 'Sort by vegetables', then the most important vegetable species show up: 5 stars, followed by 4 stars etc.
The star rating system contains the following categories:
01 General importance
02 Geographic coverage (Africa)
03 Geographic coverage (worldwide)
|04 Cereals and pulses||including pseudo-cereals (non-gramineous)|
|05 Vegetables||including legume seeds eaten as sprouted seeds|
|06 Dye and tannins use||including mordants and inks|
|07 Ornamental use||including hedge and wayside plants|
|08 Forage/feed use||including feed for fish and insects such as silkworms|
|09 Fruit use||including nuts|
|10 Timber use||including bamboos used for construction|
|11 Carbohydrate/starch use||including bee plants (honey); excluding cereals and pulses yielding starch|
|12 Auxiliary use||including shade trees, live supports, cover crops, mulches, green manure, windbreaks, live fences, erosion-controlling plants, land reclamation species and water-cleaning agents|
|13 Fuel use||including plants for the production of charcoal and as tinder|
|14 Medicinal use||including poisonous plants used as pesticide, fish poison and dart poison, and narcotic plants|
|15 Spices and condiment use||including vegetable salt, and flavour compounds added for conservation, such as hop in beer|
|16 Essential oil and exudate use||including aromatic woods, and plants producing camphor, latex, resin, balsam, gum, wax and aromatic resin|
|17 Vegetable oil use|
|18 Stimulant use||including plants used for beverages, chewing and smoking; excluding narcotic plants, but including legal drugs|
|19 Fibre use||including rattans, and plants for packing and thatching, as tying material and for making paper, baskets, mats, wickerwork, wattle work and tooth brushes|
|20 Climate change|| |
|21 Food security|| |
|22 Conservation status|| |
Explanation of the different star ratings
01 General importance
|1 star||identical to main use in Africa||and no secondary use|
|2 star||identical to main use in Africa||plus 1 star if 1 or more relevant secondary uses|
|3 star||identical to main use in Africa||plus 1 star if 1 or more relevant secondary uses|
|4 star||identical to main use in Africa||plus 1 star if 1 or more relevant secondary uses|
|5 star||identical to main use in Africa|| |
02 Geographic coverage (Africa)
|1 star||1 region|
|2 star||2 regions|
|3 star||3 regions|
|4 star||4 regions|
|5 star||5 regions|
The regions are West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.
In case a species occurs on the border of 2 regions AND has a small area of distribution (e.g. a species occurring only in eastern Nigeria and western Cameroon) then only 1 star is given.
03 Geographic coverage (Worldwide)
|1 star||1 continent|
|2 star||2 continents|
|3 star||3 continents|
|4 star||4 continents|
The continents are Africa, (South-East) Asia, South America, North America, Australia and Europe.
|04 Cereals and pulses||12 Auxiliary use|
|05 Vegetables||13 Fuel use|
|06 Dye and tannins use||14 Medicinal use|
|07 Ornamental use||15 Spices and condiment use|
|08 Forage/feed use||16 Essential oil and exudate use|
|09 Fruit use||17 Vegetable oil use|
|10 Timber use||18 Stimulant use|
|11 Carbohydrate/starch use||19 Fibre use|
All commodity groups have a similar rating system:
|1 star||1 paragraph on use||and: no properties|
|2 star||2 paragraphs on use||or: 1 paragraph use + 1 paragraph relevant properties|
|3 star||3 paragraphs on use||or: 2 paragraphs use + 3 paragraphs relevant properties|
|4 star||4 paragraphs on use||or: 2–3 paragraphs use + 1 page relevant properties|
|5 star||1–2 page on use||or: > 3–4 paragraphs use + 2 pages relevant properties|
20 Climate change
|1 star||possible tolerance/resistance|
|2 star||slight tolerance/resistance|
|3 star||rather tolerant/resistant|
|5 star||very tolerant/resistant|
Plants that can play a role in an environment affected by climate change, have characteristics like drought tolerance, waterlogging tolerance, salt tolerance and fire resistance.
21 Food security
|1 star||slightly important / important in rare cases|
|2 star||rather important / important as famine food or harvested from the wild|
|3 star||semi-cultivated (e.g. not cut down in field) / cultivated on a small scale|
|4 star||important (cultivated)|
|5 star||very important (cultivated)|
Plants that play a role in food security are cultivated crops, but also plants that are collected from the wild, either in case of availability or in case of food shortage, when there is no alternative.
22 Conservation status
|1 star||least concern|
|2 star||near threatened|
|5 star||critically endangered|
This star rating is based on the IUCN red list and on information of PROTA.