Change to Ukrainian interface versionChange to English interface versionChange to Russian interface versionHome pageClear last query resultsHelp page
Search for specific termsBrowse by subject categoryBrowse alphabetical list of titlesBrowse by organizationBrowse special topic issues

close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
close this folder1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contentsBackground in agricultural development
close this folderSelecting suitable tropical crops
Open this folder and view contentsTechnical note: selecting the right crop for your location in the tropics or in the subtropics
View the documentTechnical note: Comparison charts of tropical crops
View the documentWhat seed would you take to an uninhabited tropical island?
View the documentHow can I garden in the hot humid tropics?
View the documentResource centers for agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
Open this folder and view contents5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
Open this folder and view contents12: Seeds and germplasm
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
Open this folder and view contents28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm
 

Technical note: Comparison charts of tropical crops

by Dr. Franklin W. Martin and Michael P. Fennema

Introduction to the charts :

The question of what crops should be grown and how they should be used are never completely answered. Furthermore, there is no document or person that can provide all the answers desired. Agriculture always involves trial and error, experimenting and risking, learning and adjusting. These charts supply you with information to help you in making choices about which crops to try in your location. Crops are compared by categories to permit selection based on knowing how the crop can tolerate the conditions in your area. These comparison charts complement ECHO's catalog of "Seeds Available from ECHO," although the charts include a broader range of crops than offered in the catalog. It serves as another basic source of information on the most important crops of the tropics.

Chart 1 Comparison of Grain Crops

 

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS& USES

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

Amaranth

A. crucentus, A. hypochondriacus

Rapid, Upright Branched

Seed in Flower Popped

Protein, Starch

Barley

Hordeum vulgare

Branched Grass

Seed in Flower Cereal, Malt, Grits

Protein, Starch

Buckwheat

Fagopgrum esculentum

Herbaceous Bush

Seed in Flower, Cereal, Green Manure

Protein, Starch

Corn, Maize

Zea mays

Upright Grass

Cereal, Starches, Oil, Seed in flower

Protein, Oil, Starch

Kaniwa

Chenopodium palladicule

Broadleaf Herb

Seed in Flower

Protein, Starch

Pearl millet

Pennisetum americanum

Upright Grass

Seed in Flower Cereal

Protein, Starch

Quinoa

Chenopodium quinoa

Broadleaf Herb

Seed in Flower

Protein, Starch

Rice

Oryza sativa

Branched Grass

Seed as Staple Food, Flour, Starch

Starch, Low Protein

Rye

Secale cereale

Branched Grass

Seed in Flower, Cereal

Starch, High Protein

Sorghum

Sorghum bicolor

Upright Grass

Seed in Flower, Cereal

Protein, Starch

Tef

Eragrostis tef

Branched Grass

Seed in Flower, Flat Bread (injera)

Protein, Starch

Triticale

Hybrid triticosecale

Branched Grass

Seed in Flower, Cereal, Bread

Starch, High Protein

Wheat, bread

Triticum aestrium

Branched Grass

Seed in Flower, Cereal, Bread

Protein, Starch

Wheat, pasta

Triticum durum

Branched Grass

Seed in Flower, Cereal, Pasta

Protein, Starch


COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION

NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

DAYLENGTH

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Amaranth

A. crucentus, A. hypochondriacus

Warm to Hot

Neutral

No

Some

Tiny Seeds, Some Heads Shatter

Barley

Hordeum vulgare

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

No


Buckwheat

Fagopgrum esculentum

Warm

Neutral

No

No

High Altitude Crop

Corn, Maize

Zea mays

Warm to Hot

Neutral to short

No

No


Kaniwa

Chenopodium palladicule

Warm

Neutral

No

Some

Small Seeds, High Altitude

Pearl millet

Pennisetum americanum

Warm

Neutral

No

Yes


Quinoa

Chenopodium quinoa

Warm

Neutral

No

Some

Tiny Seeds, High Altitude

Rice

Oryza sativa

Warm to hot

Neutral

Yes

No

Relatively Low Protein

Rye

Secale cereale

Warm

Neutral

No

No


Sorghum

Sorghum bicolor

Warm to hot

Neutral

No

Some

Birds Eat Best Varieties

Tef

Eragrostis tef

Cool

Neutral

No

Some

Small seed, High Altitude

Triticale

Hybrid triticosecale

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

No

Experimental, Hard to Get

Wheat, bread

Triticum aestrium

Warm

Neutral

No

No


Wheat, pasta

Triticum durum

Warm

Neutral

No

No

Lower Protein Than Above

Chart 2 Comparison of Leguminous Vegetables

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS & USES

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

Bean, Common

Phaseolus vulgaris

Annual

Vine or Bush

Pod, Dry Seeds

General Nut, Starch

Chickpea, Garbanzo

Cicer arietinum

Annual

Bush

Undried and dried Seeds

Protein, Starch

Cowpea

Vigna unguicalata

Annual

Bush or vine

Undried and dried Seeds

Protein, Starch

Fava bean

Vicia faba

Annual

Bush

Pod, Dry and Undried Seeds

Protein, Starch

Jack bean

Cavanalia ensiformis

Annual

Mostly Bush

Small Young Pod

Protein, Starch

Lablab bean

Dolichos lablab

Weak Perennial

Vine; Bush/ Short Day

Dry & Undried Seeds, Pod

Protein, Starch

Lima bean

Phaseolus lunatus

Annual

Vine or Bush

Undried Seeds

Protein, Starch

Pea

Pisum sativum

Annual

Weak Vine

Pod, Dry and Undried Seeds

Protein, Starch

Peanut

Arachis hypogaea

Annual

Bush

Dry and Undried Seed

Oil, High Protein

Pigeon pea

Cajanus cajan

Weak Perennial

Tall Bush

Dry and Undried Seed

Protein, Starch

Soybean

Glycine max

Annual

Bush

Dry and Undried Seed

Oil, Starch, High Protein

Sword bean

Canavalia gladiata

Annual

Vine

Young Pod

Protein, Starch

Winged bean

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Weak Perennial

Vine

Young Pod,Leaf Root, Flower

Oil, Starch High Protein

Yardlong bean

Vigna unguiculata

Annual

Vine

Pod

General Nutrients


COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION




NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

DAYLENGTH

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Bean, common

Phaseolus vulgaris

Warm

Mostly Neutral

No

No


Chickpea, Garbanzo

Cicer arietinum

Cool to Warm

Mostly Neutral

No

Some


Cowpea

Vigna unguicalata

Hot

Mostly Neutral

Some

Some


Fava bean

Vicia faba

Warm

Mostly Neutral

No

Some

Consumption Related to a Disease

Jack bean

Cavanalia ensiformis

Hot

Neutral, Short Day

Some

Yes

Poisonous and Risky to Use When Older

Lablab bean

Dolichos lablab

Hot

Short Day

Some

Some

Excessive Vining in Summer

Lima bean

Phaseolus lunatus

Warm to Hot

Mostly Neutral

No

Some


Pea

Pisum sativum

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

No

Strictly Temperate

Peanut

Arachis hypogaea

Hot

Mostly Neutral

No

Some

Wet Seeds Become Poisonous

Pigeon pea

Cajanus cajan

Hot

Neutral, Short Day

No

Yes


Soybean

Glycine max

Warm to Hot

Short Day

No

No

Often Needs Rhizobium Innoculant

Sword ean

Canavalia gladiata

Hot

Neutral

No

No

Pods and Beans May Be Slightly Poisonous

Winged bean

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Hot

Mostly Short Day

Some

No


Yardlong bean

Vigna unguiculata

Hot

Mostly Neutral

No

No



Chart 3 Comparison of Pulses

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS & USES

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

Bambara groundnut

Voandzeia subterranea

Annual

Compact, Bushy Herb

Seeds Ground or Boiled, Pods Boiled

Protein

Bean, common

Phaseolus vulgaris

Annual

Bushy Herb or Vine

Boiled Seeds, Mashing and Refrying, Pods

Protein, Starch

Chickpea, Garbanzo

Cicer arietum

Annual

Bushy Herb or Vine

Boiled Seeds

Protein, Starch

Cowpea

Vigna unguiculata

Annual

Bushy Herb or Vine

Boiled Seeds, Immature Pods, Leaves

Protein, Vitamin B

Faba bean

Vicia faba

Annual

Bushy

Boiled Seed, Roasted, Ground Meal

Protein, Starch

Horse gram

Macrotyloma uniflorum

Annual

Bush or Weak Vine

Boiled Seeds

Protein, Starch, Oil

Lablab bean

Dolichos lablab

Annual

Climbing Vine

Boiled Seeds, Mature Seeds and Pods

Protein, Starch

Lima bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

Annual

Bush or Vine

Boiled Seed or Green Pod

Protein, VitaminB, Starch

Moth bean

Vigna aconitifolia

Annual

Low Trailing Vine

Seed Boiled, Ground or Fried, Forage

Protein, Starch

Mung bean

Vigna radiata

Annual

Small Bush or Vine

Boiled and Sprouted Seed, Edible Pods

Protein, Starch

Popping Bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

Annual

Vine

Popped Before Eating Uncooked

Protein, Starch

Pea

Pisum sativum

Annual

Weak Vine

Boiled Seed, Ground Meal

Protein, Starch

Peanut

Arachis hypogaea

Annual

Small Bush

Dry Nuts, Boiled Seed

Oil, Protein

Pigeon pea

Cajanus cajan

Annual or Weak Perennial

Tall Bush

Boiled Seed, Mature Seed

Protein

Rice bean

Vigna umbellata

Annual or Weak Perennial

Small Vine

Boiled Seed, Edible Pod, Leaves

Protein, Starch

Scarlet runner bean

Phaseolus cocineus

Annual or Perennial

Vine

Boiled Seed, Mature Seed, Leaves, Roots

Protein, Starch

Soybean

Glycine max

Annual

Mostly Bushy

Boiled, Ground, Extracted, Processed

Oil, High Protein

Tarwi

Lupinus mutabilis

Annual

Bush

Boiled Seeds

Oil, High Protein

Tepary bean

Phaseolus acutifolius

Annual

Bush or Weak Vine

Seeds Boiled or Ground

Protein, Starch

Urd bean

Vigna mundo

Annual

Bush

Seeds Boiled or Ground

Protein, Starch

Velvet bean

Stizolobium/Mucuna spp.

Annual or Weak Perennial

Climbing or Trailing Vine

Roasted Seed as coffee substitute, or in tempeh

Protein, Oil


COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION

NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

DAYLENGTH

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Bambara groundnut

Voandzeia subterranea

Hot

Mostly Neutral

No

Yes

Hard Seed

Bean, common

Phaseolus vulgaris

Warm

Mostly Neutral

No

No

Limited Adaptation to the Tropics

Chickpea, Garbanzo

Cicer arietum

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

Yes

Temperate Climate Only

Cowpea

Vihna unguiculata

Hot

Mostly Neutral

No

Some

Diseases and Insects

Faba bean

Vicia faba

Cool to Warm

Mostly Neutral

No

Some

Fabism (a Disease) Is Linked to This Bean

Horse gram

Macrotyloma uniflorum

Hot

Mostly Short Day

No

Some

Small Seeds

Lablab bean

Dolichos lablab

Warm

Mostly Short Day

Some

Some

Excessive Vine Growth During Long Days

Lima bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

Hot

Variable

No

Some

Foliage Contains HCN

Moth bean

Vigna aconitifolia

Mostly Hot

Neutral, Short Day

No

Yes

Difficult to Harvest

Mung bean

Vigna radiata

Cool to Warm

Neutral, Short Day

No

Yes

Rhizobium Inoculation Needed on Some Soils

Popping bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

Cool to Warm

Short Day

No

Some

Adapted to Andes Mountains

Pea, garden

Pisum sativum

Mostly Hot

Mostly Neutral

No

No

Temperate Climate Only

Peanut

Arachis hypogaea

Hot

Neutral, Short Day

No

Some

Diseases

Pigeon pea

Cajanus cajan

Warm to Hot

Neutral, Short Day

Some

Yes

Insect Susceptibility

Rice bean

Vigna umbellata

Warm to Hot

Mostly Short Day

No

Yes

Poor Yields

Scarlet runner bean

Phaseolus cocineus

Cool to Warm

Mostly Neutral

No

No

Adapted to Cool or Temperate Climate

Soybean

Glycine ma

Hot

Short Day

No

Some

Rhizobium Inoculation Needed on Some Soils

Tarwi

Lupinus mutabilis

Cool to Warm

Mostly Neutral

No

Some

Seed Contains Poisonous Alkaloids, Must Boil Seed

Tepary bean

Phaseolus acutifolius

Warm to Hot

Mostly Short Day

No

Yes

Adapted Only to Desert Conditions

Urd bean

Vigna mundo

Very Hot

Neutral, Short Day

No

Some

Adapted Only to Dry Conditions

Velvet bean

Stizolobium/ Mucuna spp.

Warm to Hot

Mostly Short Day

Yes

Some

Seed Contains Poisonous Aklaloids, Must Be Boiled


Chart 4 Comparison of Fruit Vegetables

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS, USES

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

Angled Loofa

Luffa acutangula

Annual

Climbing Vine

Young Fruit

Low Nutritional Value

Bitter gourd

Momordica charantia

Annual

Climbing Vine

Young Fruit, Leaves

Vitamin C

Bottle gourd/ Cucuzzi

Lagenaria siceraria/ Lagenaria sp

Annual

Climbing Vine

Young Fruit, Seed

Low Nutritional Value, Seeds High in Oil and Protein

Chayote

Sechium edulis

Perennial

Climbing Vine

Mature Fruit, Vine Tips, Roots

Tips High in Vitamins, Minerals

Eggplant

Solanum melongena

Weak Perennial

Bush

Young Fruit

Low Nutritional Value

Melon

Cucumis melo

Annual

Trailing Vine

Mature Fruit

Low Nutritional Value

Okra

Abelmoschus esculentus

Annual

Bush

Young Fruit, Dried Seed

Fair Source of Most Nutrients

Pepper

Capsicum annuum

Weak Perennial

Bush

Young/Mature Fruit, Leaves

Vitamins A, C

Pumpkin, tropical

Cucurbita moschata

Weak Perennial

Trailing Vine

Young/Mature Fruit, Seeds, Buds, Vine Tips

Vitamins A, C; Seeds High in Oil and Protein

Snake gourd

Trichosanthus cucumerina

Annual

Climbing Vine

Young Fruit

Low Nutritional Value

Sponge gourd

Luffa cylindrica

Annual

Climbing Vine

Young Fruit, Mature Sponges

Low Nutritional Value

Tomato

Lycopersicon esculentum

Annual/ Weak Perennial

Bush or Weak Vine

Young/Mature Fruit

Vitamins A, C

Wax gourd

Benincasa hispida

Annual

Climbing Vine

Young Fruit, Seed for Oil

Low Nutritional Value, Seeds High in Oil and Protein


COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION

NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Angled loofa

Luffa acutangula

Hot

No

No

Poisonous Seeds

Bitter gourd

Mormordica charantia

Hot

No

Yes

Very bitter

Bottle gourd /Cucuzzi

Lagenaria siceraria/ Lagenaria spp.

Warm to Hot

No

No

Low Nutritional Value

Chayote

Sechium edulis

Warm

Some

No

Needs Cool Nights

Eggplant

Solanum melongena

Warm to Hot

Some

Some

Low Nutritional Value

Melon

Cucunis melo

Hot

No

No

Many Diseases

Okra

Abelmoschus esculentus

Hot

No

Some

Summer Only

Pepper

Capsicum annuum

Warm to Hot

No

Some

Virus Susceptible

Pumpkin, tropical

Cucurbita moschata

Hot

Some

No

Mildew

Snake gourd

Trichosanthus cucumerina

Hot

No

No

Poor Quality

Sponge gourd

Luffa cylindrica

Hot

No

No

Low Nutritional Value

Tomato

Lycopersicon esculentum

Warm

No

No

Many Diseases

Wax gourd

Benincasa hispida

Hot

No

No

Low Nutritional Value


Chart 5 Comparison of Vegetable Leaves

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

PROPAGATION

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS & USES

RELATIVE YIELD

RELATIVE QUALITY

Amaranth

Amaranthus spp.

Annual

Seed

Herb

Leaf & Whole Plant, Cooked

High

High

Belembe

Xanthosoma brasiliense

Perennial

Offshoot

Herb

Leaf & Stem Cooked

Low

Very High

Bok choi

Brassica rapa B. chinensis

Annual

Seed

Herb

Leaf & Head, Raw/Cooked

Medium

Medium

Bush okra

Corchorus olitorius

Annual

Seed

Herb

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

High

Medium

Cassava

Manihot esculenta

Perennial

Cutting

Bush

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

Medium

Medium

Chaya

Cnidoscolus chayamansa

Perennial

Cutting

Bush

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

Very High

High

False roselle

Hibiscus acetosella

Weak Perennial

Seed

Bush

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

Medium

Medium

Moringa

Moringa sp.

Perennial

Seed, Cutting

Tree

Leaf, Young Fruit, Flower, Root

Very High

High

Indian lettuce

Lactuca indica

Annual

Seed, Cutting

Tall Herb

Leaf, Raw

High

High

Kai choi

Brassica juncea

Annual

Seed

Herb

Leaf & Head, Raw/Cooked

Medium

High

Kale, Ethiopian

Brassica carinata

Annual

Seed

Herb

Leaf, Raw or Cooked

High

Medium

Katuk

Sauropis androgynus

Perennial

Seed, Cutting

Bush

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

Medium

High

Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

Annual

Seed

Herb

Leaf & Head, Raw

Medium

Medium

Malabar Spinach

Basella rubra (B. alba)

Perennial

Seed, Cutting

Climbing Vine

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

High

Low

Pacific Spinach

Abelmoschus manihot

Weak Perennial

Cutting

Tall Bush

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

High

Medium

Quail grass

Celosia argentea

Annual

Seed

Herb

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

High

Medium

Sweet potato

Ipomoea batatas

Perennial

Cutting

Trailing Vine

Shoot, Cooked

Medium

Medium

Watercress

Nasturtium officinale

Perennial

Seed, Cutting

Trailing Vine

Entire Plant

High

High

Spinach, water

Ipomoea aquatica

Perennial

Cutting Seeds

Trailing Vine

Leaf & Shoot Cooked

High

High


COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION

NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

DAYLENGTH

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Amaranth

Amaranthus sp.

Hot

Mostly Short Day

No

Some

Short Life Span, Insects

Belembe

Xanthosoma brasiliense

Hot

Neutral

Yes

No

Low Production

Bok choie

Brassica rapa B. chinensis

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

No


Bush okra

Corchorus olitorius

Hot

Neutral

No

Some

Weedy

Cassava

Manihot esculenta

Hot

Neutral

No

Some

Needs Cooking or is toxic

Chaya

Cnidoscolus chayamansa

Warm to Hot

Neutral

Some

Yes

Somewhat Toxic

False roselle

Hibiscus acetosella

Warm to Hot

Short Day

No

Some

Weedy Nature

Horseradish tree

Moringa sp.

Hot

Neutral

No

Yes

Excessively Vigorous

Indian lettuce

Latuca indica

Warm to Hot

Short Day

No

No

Excessive Height

Kai choi

Brassica juncea

Warm

Neutral

No

No


Kale, Ethiopian

Brassica carinata

Warm

Neutral

No

No


Katuk

Sauropis androgynus

Hot

Neutral

No

No

Lowers Blood Sugar

Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

Cool to Warm

Short Day

No

No


Malabar, Spinach

Basella rubra (B. alba)

Hot

Short Day

No

No

Fruits During Short Days

Pacific Spinach

Abelmoschus manihot

Hot

Short Day

No

No

Mucilaginous When Cooked

Quail grass

Celosia argentea

Hot

Short Day

No

No

Weedy

Sweet potato

Ipomoea batatas

Hot

Short Day

No

No

Weevils Are Hard to Control

Watercress

Nasturtium officinale

Warm

Neutral

Yes

No

Strong Flavor

Water IIpomoea aquatica Spinach

Warm to

Short Day Hot

Yes

No

Weedy in Canals



Chart 6 Comparison of Roots and Tubers

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

BI- PERENNIAL GROWN AS ANNUAL

PROPAGATION

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS & USES

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

Beet *

Beta vulgaris

Biennial

Seed

Herbaceous

Roots, Leaves cooked

Roots: Low in Nutrients

Carrot *

Daucus carota

Biennial

Seed

Herbaceous

Roots, Raw or Cooked

High in Vitamin A

Cassava

Manihot esculenta

Perennial

Stem

Bush

Tuberous Root Leaf, Cooked

Starch

Dasheen

Colocasia esculenta

Perennial

Offshoot

Herbaceous

Corm, Cooked

Starch, Vitamin C

Edible Canna *

Canna edulis

Perennial

Offshoot

Upright Herbaceous

Rhizome, Cooked

Starch

Jicama *

Pachyrrhizus erosus

*Weak Perennial

Seed

Vining

Tuberous Root Cooked

Starch, Protein

Potato

Solanum tuberosum

Perennial

Tuber Cutting

Herbaceous

Tuber, Cooked

Starch, Vitamin C

Sweet potato

Ipomoea batatas

Perennial

Stem, Cutting

Trailing Vine

Vine tips and Tuberous Root Cooked

Starch, Vitamin C, Vitamin A

Tanier

Xanthosoma spp.

Perennial

Offshoot

Herbaceous

Corm, Cooked

Starch

Taro

Colocasia esculenta

Perennial

Offshoot

Herbaceous

Corm, Cooked

Starch, Vitamin C

Yam

Dioscorea spp.

Perennial

Tuber Cutting

Climbing Vine

Tubers, Cooked

Starch, Protein


* Not a dietary staple.

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION

NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

DAYLENGTH

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Beet

Beta vulgaris

Cool

Neutral

No

No

Temperate Climate

Carrot

Daucus carota

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

No

Temperate Climate

Cassava

Manihot esculenta

Hot

Short Day

No

No

Some Varieties Poisonous Untreated

Dasheen

Colocasia esculenta

Hot

Short Day

Some

No


Edible Canna

Canna edulis

Hot

Neutral

Some

No

Poor Quality Vegetable

Jicama

achyrrhizus erosus

Hot

Neutral

No

Some

Pods, Leaf Poisonous

Potato

Solanum tuberosum

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

No

Not Tropical

Sweet potato

Ipomea batatas

Hot

Mostly Short Day

No

No

Insect Problems

Tanier

Xanthosoma spp.

Hot

Mostly Short Day

Some

No

Disease Problems

Taro

Colocasia esculenta

Hot

Mostly Short Day

Yes

No

Needs Paddy Culture

Yam

Dioscorea spp.

Hot

Mostly Neutral

Some

No

Very Seasonal


Chart 7 Comparison of Miscellaneous Vegetables

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

PROPAGATION

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS & USES

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

Asparagus

Asparagus officinale

Perennial

Seed, Offshoot

Bush, Large Rhizomes

Young Tender Shoots, Cooked Pickled

Vitamin C

Bamboo shoots

Several spp.

Perennial

Offshoot

Tall Woody Grass

Young Culm


Buffalo gourd

Cucurbita foetidissima

Perennial

Seed

Bush/Vine Vine

Seeds for Oil and Flour

Oil, High Protein

Bunching onion

Allium fistulosum

Perennial

Seed, Offshoot

Herb w/bulb

Entire Plant as Condiment

Vitamin C

Chestnut, water

Eleocharis dulcis

Perennial

Corm

Reed in Mud

Corm

Starch

Chinese chives

Allium tuberosum

Perennial

Offshoot

Herb

Green Foliage as Spinach

Vitamins A, C

Coconut sprout

Cocos nucifera

Perennial

Seed

Tall Tree

Root Ball After Germination


Egusi

Colocynthus citrullis

Annual

Seed

Trailing Vine

Roasted Seeds as Snacks or Ground

High Protein

Izote

Yucca species

Perennial

Seed, Cutting

Large Woody Bush

Mature Bud and Flower Raw or Cooked, Heart Must Be Cooked

Flower: Vitamin C Calcium in Heart

Onion

Allium cepa

Perennial

Seed, Bulbs

Herb

Bulb as Condiment

Vitamin C








Pacaya

Chamaedores spp.

Perennial

Seeds

Small Palm

Young Inflorescence

Protein

Palm heart

Many spp.

Perennial

Seeds

Branched Palms

Tender Growing Tip

Protein, Vitamin B

Pit pit

Saccharum edulis

Perennial

Cutting

Large Grass

Bottled up Flower Cooked as Vegetable

Protein

Rhubarb as annual

Rheum rhaponti

Perennial

Seed, Offshoot

Large Herb

Petioles Cooked

Vitamin C

Roselle

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Annual

Seed

Large Woody Herb

Calyxes of Pod as Fruit

Vitamin C

Sweet corn

Zea mays

Annual

Seed

Tall Herb

Immature Ear

Carbohydrate, P, Niacin


COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION

NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

DAYLENGTH

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Asparagus

Asparagus officinde

Cool to Warm

Neutral

No

Some

Needs 3-5 Years

Bamboo shoots

Several spp.

Warm to Hot

Time Dependent

Often

Often

Very Large

Buffalo gourd

Cucurbita foetidissima

Warm to Hot


No

Yes


Bunching onion

Allium fistulosum

Cool to Warm

Short Day

No

No


Chestnut, Water

Eleocharis dulcis

Warm to Hot

Long Day

Yes

No


Chinese chives

Allium tuberosum

Warm to Hot

Short Day

No

No


Coconut sprout

Cocos nucifera

Hot

Neutral

Some

Some


Egusi

Colocynthus citrullis

Warm to Hot

Neutral

No

Yes


Izote

Yucca species

Warm to Hot

Neutral

No

No

Chiefly for other uses, inefficient production

Onion

Allium cepa

Warm

Short and Long Day Varieties

No

No

Specific varieties and planting dates needed

Pacaya

Chamaedorea spp.

Hot


No

No

Inefficient profuction

Palm heart

Many spp.

Hot

Neutral

Some

Some

Inefficient production

Pit pit

Saccharum edulis

Hot

Short Day

Some

No

Inefficient production

Rhubarb *

Rheum rhaponti

Cool to Warm

Neutral

Some

No

Mostly temperate

Roselle

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Warm

Short Day

No

Some


Sweet corn

Zea mays

Warm

Neutral/ Short Day

No

No



Chart 8 Comparison of Selected Tropical Fruit Crops

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

PROPAGATION

GROWTH HABIT

EDIBLE PARTS & USES

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

Atemoya

Annona hybrid

Grafts

Small Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C

Avocado

Persea americana

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Oil

Banana

Musa sp.

Offshoots

Large Herb

Fruit, Raw, Cooked

Starch, Potassium

Black sapote

Diospyros digyna

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Cooked

Carbohydrate

Breadfruit

Artocarpus elastica

Root Cuttings

Medium Tree

Fruit, Cooked

Starch

Canistel

Pouteria campechiana

Seeds, Grafts

Small Tree

Fruit, Raw, Processed

Starch, Vitamins A, C

Carambola

Averrhoa carambola

Seeds, Grafts

Small Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C

Cherimoya

Annona cherimoya

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C

Citrus

Citrus sp.

Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamins A, C

Coconut

Cocos nucifera

Seeds

Tall Palm

Fruit, Many Uses

Protein, Oil

Date

Phoenix dactylifera

Seeds, Offshoots

Tall Palm

Fruit, Dried

Carbohydrate

Durian

Durio zibethinus

Seeds, Grafts

Large Tree

Fruit, Raw

Protein, Carbohydrate

Guava

Psidium guajava

Seeds, Air layers

Small Tree

Fruit, Raw, Cooked

Vitamin C

Jaboticaba

Myrcliaria cauliflora

Seeds, Grafts

Small Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C

Jackfruit

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamins A, C

Lansium (Langsat)

Langsium domesticum

Seeds

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw


Lychee

Litchi chinensis

Seeds, Air layers

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C

Loquat

Eribotrya japonica

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw, Cooked

Vitamins A, C

Mango

Mangifera indica

Grafts

Tall tree

Fruit, Raw, Cooked

Vitamins A, C

Mamey sapote

Pouteria sapote

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C

Mammee apple

Mammea americana

Seeds, Grafts

Large Tree

Fruit, Raw, Cooked

Vitamins A, C

Papaya

Carica papaya

Seeds

Large Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamins A, C

Passion fruit

Passisflora edulis

Seeds, Cuttings

Vine

Fruit, Raw Juice

Vitamins A, C

Peach palm

Bactris gasipaes

Seeds

Tall Palm

Pulp & Kernel of Seeds

Oil, Starch, Vitamin A

Prickly pear

Opuntia spp.

Seeds, Cuttings

Shrub

Fruits, New Pads

Carbohydrate

Rambutan

Nephelium lappaceum

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C

Salak

Zalacca edulis

Seeds, Grafts

Small Palm

Fruit, Raw


Tamarind

Tamarindus indica

Seeds, Offshoots

Large Tree

Fruit, Raw Juice

Vitamin C

White sapote

Casimiroa edulis

Seeds, Grafts

Medium Tree

Fruit, Raw

Vitamin C


COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ADAPTATION

NEGATIVE FACTORS



TEMP

FLOOD

DROUGHT


Atemoya

Annona hybrid

Warm

No

Some

Irreg. shape

Avocado

Persea americana

Warm to Hot

No

Some

Disease

Banana

Musa sp.

Hot

Some

Little

Dark Color

Black sapote

Diospyros digyna

Hot

Some

None


Breadfruit

Artocarpus elastica

Hot

Some

Some


Canistel

Pouteria campechiana

Hot

No

Some


Carambola

Averrhoa carambola

Hot

Some

No


Cherimoya

Annona cherimoya

Hot

No

No


Citrus

Citrus sp.

Warm to Hot

No

Some


Coconut

Cocos nucifera

Hot

Some

Some


Date

Phoenix dactylifera

Very Hot

No

Yes


Durian

Durio zibethinus

Hot

Some

No

Odor of Fruit

Guava

Psidium guajava

Hot

Some

Some


Jaboticaba

Myrcliaria cauliflora

Warm

Some

No

Needs Cool Winter

Jackfruit

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Hot

Some

No


Lansium (Langsat)

Lanslum domesticum

Hot

Some

No


Lychee

Litchi chinensis

Warm

No

No

Needs Cool Winter

Loquat

Eribotrya japonica

Warm to Hot

No

No

Cool Days to Set Fruit

Mango

Mangifera indica

Hot

Some

Some


Mamey sapote

Pouteria sapote

Warm to Hot

No

Some


Mammee apple

Mammea americana

Hot

Some

Some

Somewhat Poisonous

Papaya

Carica papaya

Hot

Some

Some

Fruit too Soft

Passion fruit

Passisflora edulis

Warm to Hot

Some

Some


Peach palm

Bactris gasipaes

Hot

No

No

Spint Trunk

Prickly pear

Opuntia spp.

Warm to Hot

No

Yes

Spiny Plant

Rambutan

Nephelium lappaceum

Hot

Some

No


Salak

Zalacca edulis

Very Hot

Yes

No


Tamarind

Tamarindus indica

Hot

No

Yes


White sapote

Casimiroa edulis

Warm

No

Some



Chart 9 Comparison of Nut Crops

SCIENTIFIC NAME

COMMON NAME

PROPAGATION

EDIBLE PARTS

PRINCIPAL NUTRIENTS

TOLERANT OF






FLOOD

DROUGHT

Anacardium occidentale

Cashew

seeds, grafts

nuts

protein

no

yes

Areca catechu

Betelnut

seeds, offshoots

seed chewed

alkaloids

yes

no

Artocarpus altilis

Breadnut

seeds, offshoots

seeds

carbohydrate

yes

no

Artocarpus heterophylla

Jackfruit

seeds, grafts

seeds, pulp

carbohydrate

yes

no

Bactris gasipaes

Peach palm

seeds, offshoots

pulp, seeds

carbohydrate

yes

no

Brosimum alacastrum

Mexican breadnut

seeds

seeds


yes

no

Canarium indicum

Canary nut

seeds

seeds

protein

no

yes

Canarium ovatum

Pili nut

seeds, grafts

seeds, pulp

protein

yes

no

Cocos nucifera

Coconut

seeds

seeds, other

protein

yes

no

Coula edulis

African walnut

seeds

seeds

protein

yes

some

Erythrina edulis

Basul

seeds

seeds, foliage


no

no

Inga paterno

Paterno

seeds

seeds

carbohydrate

no

some

Inocarpus edulis

Tahiti chestnut

seeds

seeds


some


Gnetum gnemon

Joint fir

seeds

seeds

protein

some

no

Lecythis elliptica

Paradise nut

seeds

seeds

protein

some

no

Macadamia sp

Macadamia

seeds, grafts

seeds

protein

some

some

Pachira aquatica

Malabar chestnut

seeds

seeds

oil

yes

no

Pouteria sapote

Mamey sapote

seeds, grafts

pulp, seeds

protein

no

some

Terminalia catappa

Indian almond

seeds

seeds

protein, oil

yes

no

Terminalia kaernbachii

Okari nut

seeds

seeds

protein, oil

yes

no

Treculia africana

African breadfruit

seeds

seeds

protein

yes

no


Chart 10 Comparison of Industrial, Plantation, or Beverage Crops

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

GROWTH HABIT

ADAPTATION

SUPPLEMENTARY USES





TEMP

DAYLENGTH

FLOOD

DROUGHT


SPICES:









Allspice

Pimenta officinalis

Perennial

Small Tree

Hot

Neutral

No

No


Cloves

Syzygium aromaticum

Perennial

Small Tree

Hot

Neutral

Some

No


Ginger

Zingiber officinale

Perennail

Herb

Hot

Long Day

Some

No


Nutmeg+ Mace

Myristica fragrans

Perennial

Tree

Hot

Neutral

Some

No


Pepper

Piper nigrum

Perennial

Vine

Hot

Neutral

Some

No


Vanilla

Vanilla fragrans

Perennial

Vine

Hot

Neutral

Some

No


BEVERAGES:









Cacao

Theobroma cacao

Perennial

Small Tree

Hot

Neutral

No

No

Household

Coffee

Coffea arabica, Coffea robusta

Perennial

Small Tree

Hot

Neutral

No

No

Household

Guarana

Paullinia cupana

Perennial







Mate

Hex paraguariensis

Perennial







Tea

Camellia sinensis

Perennial

Shrub

Warm

Neutral

No

No

Household

OIL:









Coconut

Cocos nucifera

Perennial

Tall Palm

Hot

Neutral

Some

Some

Multiple

Oil Palm African

Elaeis guineensis

Perennial

Palm

Hot

Neutral

Some

Some


Oil Palm American

Corozo (=E.) oleifera

Perennial

Palm

Hot

Neutral

No

Some

Food

Olive

Olea europaea

Perennial

Tree

Warm-Hot

Neutral

No

Yes

Many

Peanut

Arachis hypogaea

Annual

Herb

Hot

Long Day

No

Some

As Food

Sesame

Sesamum indicum

Annual

Herb

Warm

Long Day

No

Some

As Food

Soybean

Glycine max

Annual

Herb

Hot

Short Day

No

Some

As Food

Tung

Aleurites sp.

Perennial

Tree

Hot

Neutral

No

Some


FIBER:









Abaca

Musa textilis

Perennial

Large Herb

Hot

Neutral

Some

No

Cord

Cotton

Gossypium sp.

Annual

Large Herb

Hot

Neutral

No

No

Stuffing

Jute

Corchorus capsularis

Annual

Herb

Hot

Neutral

No

No

Cord

Kapok

Ceiba pendandra

Perennial

Tree

Hot

Neutral

No

No

Stuffing

Kenaf

Hibiscus Sp.

Annual

Herb

Hot

Long Day

No

No

Cord, Leaves

Ramie

Boehmeria nivea

Annual

Herb

Hot

Long Day

No

No

Cord

Sisal

Agave sp.

Perennial

Herb

Hot

Neutral

No

Yes

Cord

OTHER:









Sago Palm

Metroxylon sagu

Perennial

Palm

Hot

Neutral

Yes

No

Starch

Sugar cane

Saccharum edulis

Perennial

Grass

Hot

Neutral

Yes

Some

Food

Sugar Palms

Many Species

Perennial

Palms

Hot

Neutral

Some

Some

Many

Tobacco

Nicotiana tabacum

Annual

Herb

Hot

Long Day

No

No

Insecticide


Chart 11 Comparison of Ground Covers and Green Manures

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

GROWTH HABIT

USES

Butterfly pea

Clitorea ternatea

Annual

Climbing Vine

Ground Cover

Beggarweed

Desmodium gyroides

Annual

Shrub

Ground Cover

Beggarweed

Desmodium heterophylla

Annuel

Shrub

Ground Cover

Beggarweed

Desmodium salicifolium

Annual

Herb

Ground Cover

Calapo

Calopogonium mucunoides

Either

Trailing Vine

Green Manure

Centro

Centrosema pubescens

Perennial

Climbing Vine

Ground Cover

Indigo

Indigofera hendecaphylla

Perennial

Herb

Green Manure

Jackbean

Canavalia ensiformis

Annual

Bush

Green Manure

Kudzu, tropical

Pueraria phaseoloides

Perennial

Climbing Vine

Ground Cover

Lablab Bean

Dolichos lablab

Annual

Climbing Vine

Food, Ground Cover

Perennial Peanut

Arachis sp.

Perennial

Trailing Vine

Ground Cover, Feed

Spanish clover

Desmodium triflorum

Perennial

Trailing Vine

Ground Cover

Spanish clover

Desmodium uncinatum

Perennial

Trailing Vine

Ground Cover

Sunn hemp

Crotalaria juncea

Annual

Shrub

Green Manure, Fiber

Velvet bean

Stizolobium/Mucuna spp.

Annual

Trailing Vine

Ground Cover

Winged bean

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Annual

Climbing Vine

Food, Green Manure

Vigna

Vigna hosia

Perennial

Vine

Ground Cover

Vigna

Vigna lutea

Perennial

Vine

Ground Cover

Vigna

Vigna unguiculata

Annual

Climbing Vine

Food, Green Manure

Vigna

Vigna vexillata

Perennial

Trailing Vine

Ground Cover

All of the plants mentioned in this chart 11 can be used as feed for animals. However, cutting them for feed limits their effectiveness as green manures and cover crops. The distinction between green manures and cover crops is minimal, and often the two words are used interchangeably. The following definitions show the difference in emphasis of the two terms. Green manure crops are those grown for the purpose of incorporation when the plant is fresh and green (thus high in nitrogen), resulting in soil enrichment and a greater water holding capacity. Ground cover crops grow vigorously to outcompete weeds and provide a good soil covering and mulch. These crops are also good for soil improvement and erosion prevention.

Chart 12 Comparison of Tropical Pastures and Field Crops

COMMON NAME

SPECIES NAME

ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL

GROWTH HABIT

PROPAGATION

ADAPTATION






HIGH TEMPS

FLOOD

DROUGHT

FEED LEGUMES:








Acacia, Apple-ring

Acacia albida

Perennial

Tree

Seeds

Yes

No

Some

Centro

Centrosema pubescens

Perennial

Vine

Seeds

Yes

No

Some

Jackbean

Canavalia ensiformis

Annual

Bush

Seeds

Yes

No

Some

Kudzu

Pueraria phaseoloides

Perennial

Vine

Seeds

Yes

Some

Some

Leucaena

Leucaena spp.

Perennial

Tree

Seeds

Yes

No

Yes

Mesquite

Prosopis spp.

Perennial

Tree

Seeds

Yes

No

Yes

Mother of cacao

Gliricidia sepium

Perennial

Tree

Seeds, Cuttings

Yes

Some

Some

Prickly sesban

Sesbania bispinosa

Perennial

Shrub

Seeds

Yes

Yes

Some

Spanish clover

Desmodium uncinatum

Perennial

Vine

Seeds

Yes

No

Some

St. John's bread

Ceratonia siliqua

Perennial

Tree

Seeds

Yes

No

Yes

Umbrella thorn

Acacia tortilis

Perennial

Tree

Seeds

Yes

No

Yes

FEED GRASSES:








Napier

Pennesitum purpureum

Perennial

Tall Grass

Seeds, Cuttings

Yes

Yes

No

Sudan

Sorghum sudanese

Annual

Tall Grass

Seeds

Yes

No

Some

Guinea

Panicum maximum

Perennial

Clump Grass

Seeds, Cuttings

Yes

Some

Some

Pangola

Digitaria decumbens

Perennial Grass

Spread

Cuttings

Yes

Some

Some

Bermuda

Cynodon dactylon

Perennial

Spread Grass

Cuttings

Yes

No

Some

Star

Cynodon nlemfluensis

Perennial

Spread Grass

Cuttings

Yes

No

Some

Kikuyu

Pennesitum clandestinum

Perennial

Spread Grass

Cuttings

No

No

Some

Chart 13 Comparison of Special Purpose Trees

COMMON SPECIES NAME

COMMON NAME

NITROGEN FIXING

PRINCIPAL USES

SECONDARY USES

ADAPTATION

Acacia albida

Apple-Ring Acacia

Yes

MPL*

Camel feed

Hot, Dry Tropics

Acacia mearansii

Black Wattle

Yes

MPL


Hot, Dry Tropics

Acacia nilotica

Nile Acacia

Yes

Alley Cropping


Hot, Dry Tropics

Boscia senegalensis


No

Emergency Food


Hot, Dry Tropics

Bursera simaruba

Gumbo Limbo

No

Living Fence

Industrial Gum

Hot, Dry Tropics

Calliandra calothyrsis

Calliandra

Yes

MPL

Fuel

Wet Tropics

Chaemaecytisus palmensis

Tagaste

Yes

Alley Cropping Cropping

MPL

Upland Tropics

Cassie siamea

Siamese Acacia

Yes

Fuel, Hard Wood

MPL

Hot Tropics

Casuarina sp.

Casuarina

Yes

Fuel, Lumber

Windbreak

Hot Tropics

Erythrina berteroana

Coral Bean

Yes

Living Fence

MPL

Intermediate Tropics

Gliricidia sepium

Mother of Cacao

Yes

Living Fence

MPL

Intermediate Tropics

Hibiscus tiliaceus

Mahoe

No

Living Fence

Erosion Control

Hot, Dry Tropics

Leucaena leucocephala

Leucaena

Yes

Alley Cropping, Fuel

MPL

Intermediate Tropics

Moringa pterygosperma (formerly M. Oleifera)

Moringa

No

Food

Living Fence

Intermediate Tropics

Moringa stenopetala


No

Food

Living Fence

Wet Tropics

Sapium sebiferum

Tallow tree

No

Useful Oils

Erosion Control

Intermediate Subtropics

Sesbania grandiflora

Sesban

Yes

Food, Alley Cropping

MPL

Intermediate Tropics

Swietenia mahogani

Mahogany

No

Timber


Wet Tropics

Tamarisk sp.

Tamarisk

No

Windbreak

Lumber

Dry Subtropics

Yucca elephantipes

Bulbstem Yucca

No

Living Fence

Edible Flowers

Hot and Intermediate Subtropics

 

to previous section to next section

[Ukrainian]  [English]  [Russian]