Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Only 12 Plants of 500,000 Supply the World with Food

I recently found a very interesting fact published on Killerplants dot com

FACT: Five hundred thousand is a rough guesstimate of the number of plant species on the face of the Earth.

Of this 500,000, there are 3,000 species that provide some edible portion to humans. Edible food portions include, leaves, roots, nuts, and fruits.

Of these 3,000 species, only about 150 are regularly cultivated by humans.

(I wonder how much of the 3,000 are in the Americas?)

Of the 150 cultivated plants, only 12 supply most of the food our world consumes.

The critical 12 cultivated plants are...


  1. corn (Zea mays)
  2. rice (Oryza sativa)
  3. wheat (Triticum aestivum)


  1. common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)
  2. soybean (Glycine max)

The roots:

  1. white potato (Solanum tuberosum)
  2. sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas)
  3. cassava (Manihot esculenta)

Sugar sources:

  1. sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
  2. sugar beet (Beta vulgaris)

Pan-tropical fruits:

  1. coconut (Cocos nucifera)
  2. bananna (Musa Spp.)
Add to your wild edible knowledge and supplement the critical 12 cultivated food plants.
Register HERE for Earth Connection's:

21 April Spring Edibles Class
19 May NEW Organic Gardening Class

Killerplants™ is a website for gardeners, plant lovers, collectors, and people interested in the natural world. Killerplants attempts to instill a way of rethinking our world adding a bit of respect so that it will not be lost forever. Killerplants publishes five newsletters that might be of interest to those of you who desire to learning more about the plant kingdom.

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