For the best results when you want to use the Plant Database search function initially select as few variables as possible. If your initial list of variables is too long, your selected list will be very limited or return no matches. Rather start off with few variables and add more variables later until you get the plant you want.
As you can see from the options available, there are many parameters that can be used to search for a plant with particular properties. For instance, one can specify that you are looking for HARDY SHRUBS with WHITE FLOWERS that flower in SPRING.
But there is a catch. Due to the nature of the database, you can select only one option per variable. For instance, if you have selected the colour WHITE and that particular plant comes in many different colour forms, your choice stays limited to WHITE. If WHITE is not the dominant colour for that particular plant and you have specified the dominant colour, you will miss it. For instance, the dominant flower colour of the cork bush is blue but you also get a white form. My choices are based on the most likely colour or the most popular one.
Another tricky one, for instance, is plant size. Plant size is quite often determined by habitat and is highly variable. For instance the sweet thorn can easily reach a height of 6 to 8 m in very favourable conditions, but in the Karoo it is a shrub rarely taller than 2m. Again, I had to make a judgment call on the most likely plant size.
So stick to the variables most important to you and once you have a list to choose from, either narrow it down by selecting more variables or obtain more information about the plants. If the information on our website is too limited try pza.sanbi.org.
If your results are not satisfactory, please contact Johan Wentzel for assistance.