Sub-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 […]

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: 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: Yellowhorn

Common Name: Yellowhorn, Goldenhorn, Chinese Flowering Chestnut, Wen Guan Guo
Scientific Name: Xanthoceras sorbifolium
Family: Sapindaceae (the Soapberry, Maple, and Lychee family)

I was asked by a reader to write an article about Yellowhorn since they were having some trouble growing this plant. I had heard of this plant before, but other than a name, I couldn’t […]

Permaculture Plants: Mayhaw

Common Name: Mayhaw, May Hawthorn, Apple Hawthorn,
Scientific Name: Crataegus aestivalis and Crataegus opaca
Family: Rosaceae (the Rose, Apple, Peach, and Plum family)
Common Species:

  • Eastern Mayhaw (Crataegus aestivalis)
  • Western Mayhaw (Crataegus opaca)

The Mayhaw is a large shrub or small tree that is native to the lowlands and wetlands of the Deep South of the U.S. It is […]

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 […]

Permaculture Plants: Sorbus Species

Scientific Name: Sorbus species (there is a push to divide the Sorbus genus)
Family: Rosaceae (the Rose family)

Common Species:

  • Whitebeam (Sorbus aria): good wood; up to 0.625 inch (16 mm) oval, red fruit; mealy but sweet
  • Korean Mountain Ash (Sorbus alnifolia): good wood; up to 0.5 inch (13 mm) pink to purple fruit, mealy with a […]

Permaculture Plants: Pea Trees and Pea Shrubs

Scientific Name: Caragana species
Family: Fabaceae (the Legume or Pea or Bean family)
Common Species (there are about 80 species):

  • Siberian Pea Tree/Shrub (Caragana arborescens) – large to very large shrub
  • Caragana boisii (Caragana boisii) – large to very large shrub
  • Caragana brevispina (Caragana brevispina) – medium-sized shrub
  • Caragana decorticans (Caragana decorticans) – large to very large shrub
  • Russian Pea […]