Canopy Layer

Permaculture Plants: Mulberries

Common Name: Mulberry (Black, Red, and White)
Scientific Name: Morus species
Family: Moraceae
Common Species:

  • White Mulberry (Morus alba)
  • Chinese or Korean Mulberry (Morus australis)
  • African Mulberry (Morus mesozygia)
  • Texas Mulberry (Morus microphylla)
  • Black Mulberry (Morus nigra)
  • Red or American Mulberry (Morus rubra)


I was not a fan of the White Mulberry fruit that grew in my backyard when I lived in Kentucky.  It […]

December 2014 Farm Update (and photos from an iPhone!)

We have a few months before we move to our new farm, but we were able to take a trip there this past weekend. We are still trying to settle on names for all the structures and landforms on the property, so there will be some changes in what […]

Permaculture Plants: Raisin Tree

Common Name: Raisin Tree, Japanese Raisin Tree, Oriental Raisin Tree
Scientific Name: Hovenia dulcis
Family: Rhamnaceae (the Buckthorn family)

The Raisin Tree is a unique plant. The edible portion of the tree is not actually the fruit. The fruit itself is small, hard, pea-sized, and not edible. But the stem or stalk […]

Permaculture Plants: Bamboo

Common Name: Bamboo
Scientific Name: Bambuseae Tribe (there are 9 Subtribes, 91 Genera, and about over 1,500 species!)
Family: Poaceae (the Grass family)
Selected Species: See the table at the end of the article for Bamboo Species ideal for a Temperate Climate.

I have put off writing an article on Bamboo for a number […]

Permaculture Plants: Osage Orange

Common Name: Osage Orange, Hedge Apple, Horse Apple, Monkey Ball, Bodark, Bodock, Bowwood, and many more!
Scientific Name: Maclura pomifera
Family: Moraceae (the Mulberry or Fig family)

I love to read about plants that most people think are useless. Osage Orange is on the list of trees that many people see no need to […]

Permaculture Plants: Black Locust

Common Name: Black Locust, False Acacia
Scientific Name: Robinia pseudoacacia
Family: Fabaceae (the Legume, Pea, or Bean family)

Black Locust is native to the southeastern United States, and is a great overstory tree as it allows a lot of light through to the understory. Black Locust is a prized as a timber tree, firewood tree, […]

Permaculture Plants: Pine Trees for Pine Nuts

Common Name: Pine Tree, Pinion, Piñon, Pinyon, Stone Pine, Nut Pine
Scientific Name: Pinus species
Family: Pinaceae (the Pine family)

Common Species: there are about 115 Pine species, but only about 20 of them are useful for nut production. I have 16 of them listed below, and the most important Nut Pines (largest nuts, highest producers, […]

Permaculture Plants: Willow

Common Name: Willows, Sallows, Osiers
Scientific Name: Salix species
Family: Salicaceae (the Willow family)

Selected Species (there are over 400 species!):

  • White Willow (Salix alba)
  • Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
  • Beaked Willow (Salix bebbiana)
  • Goat Willow (Salix caprea)
  • Coastal Plain or Carolina Willow (Salix caroliniana)
  • American or Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)
  • Gray Willow (Salix glauca)
  • Western Black or Goodding’s Willow (Salix gooddingii)
  • Pacific Willow (Salix lucida)
  • Yellow […]

Permaculture Plants: European Pear

Common Name: European Pear
Scientific Name: Pyrus communis
Family: Rosaceae (the Rose family)

The European Pear needs almost no description. It is one of the most well known, and loved, tree fruits in the world. While most people are familiar with the two or three (maybe four) varieties the local grocer stocks, […]

Permaculture Plants: Persian Silk Tree

Common Names: Persian Silk Tree, Pink Silk Tree, Pink Siris, Mimosa, Lenkoran Acacia, Bastard Tamarind
Scientific Name: Albizia julibrissin
Family: Fabaceae (the Legume, Bean, or Pea family)

This small, legume tree is fast growing and short-lived. Known primarily as a tropical-looking, ornamental tree, it has many additional uses. It fixes-nitrogen into the soil which allows […]