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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 pulsesincluding pseudo-cereals (non-gramineous)
05 Vegetablesincluding legume seeds eaten as sprouted seeds
06 Dye and tannins useincluding mordants and inks
07 Ornamental useincluding hedge and wayside plants
08 Forage/feed useincluding feed for fish and insects such as silkworms
09 Fruit useincluding nuts
10 Timber useincluding bamboos used for construction
11 Carbohydrate/starch useincluding bee plants (honey); excluding cereals and pulses yielding starch
12 Auxiliary useincluding shade trees, live supports, cover crops, mulches, green manure, windbreaks, live fences, erosion-controlling plants, land reclamation species and water-cleaning agents
13 Fuel useincluding plants for the production of charcoal and as tinder
14 Medicinal useincluding poisonous plants used as pesticide, fish poison and dart poison, and narcotic plants
15 Spices and condiment useincluding vegetable salt, and flavour compounds added for conservation, such as hop in beer
16 Essential oil and exudate useincluding aromatic woods, and plants producing camphor, latex, resin, balsam, gum, wax and aromatic resin
17 Vegetable oil use
18 Stimulant useincluding plants used for beverages, chewing and smoking; excluding narcotic plants, but including legal drugs
19 Fibre useincluding 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 staridentical to main use in Africaand no secondary use
2 staridentical to main use in Africaplus 1 star if 1 or more relevant secondary uses
3 staridentical to main use in Africaplus 1 star if 1 or more relevant secondary uses
4 staridentical to main use in Africaplus 1 star if 1 or more relevant secondary uses
5 staridentical to main use in Africa 

02 Geographic coverage (Africa)
1 star1 region
2 star2 regions
3 star3 regions
4 star4 regions
5 star5 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 star1 continent
2 star2 continents
3 star3 continents
4 star4 continents
5 starworldwide

The continents are Africa, (South-East) Asia, South America, North America, Australia and Europe.

Commodity Groups:
04 Cereals and pulses12 Auxiliary use
05 Vegetables13 Fuel use
06 Dye and tannins use14 Medicinal use
07 Ornamental use15 Spices and condiment use
08 Forage/feed use16 Essential oil and exudate use
09 Fruit use17 Vegetable oil use
10 Timber use18 Stimulant use
11 Carbohydrate/starch use19 Fibre use

All commodity groups have a similar rating system:
1 star1 paragraph on useand: no properties
2 star2 paragraphs on useor: 1 paragraph use + 1 paragraph relevant properties
3 star3 paragraphs on useor: 2 paragraphs use + 3 paragraphs relevant properties
4 star4 paragraphs on useor: 2–3 paragraphs use + 1 page relevant properties
5 star1–2 page on useor: > 3–4 paragraphs use + 2 pages relevant properties

20 Climate change
1 starpossible tolerance/resistance
2 starslight tolerance/resistance
3 starrather tolerant/resistant
4 startolerant/resistant
5 starvery 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 starslightly important / important in rare cases
2 starrather important / important as famine food or harvested from the wild
3 starsemi-cultivated (e.g. not cut down in field) / cultivated on a small scale
4 starimportant (cultivated)
5 starvery 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 starleast concern
2 starnear threatened
3 starvulnerable
4 starendangered
5 starcritically endangered

This star rating is based on the IUCN red list and on information of PROTA.

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All texts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands License
This license does not include the illustrations (Maps,drawings,pictures); these remain all under copyright.
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