Here are a few resources for species selection for food forestry and other forms of edible landscaping:
- Climate-Food-Species Matrix: created as part of my my master thesis, and then refined further for publication in this July 2013 Landscape Ecology article on urban food forestry. This matrix contains 70 species and ranks them based on drought tolerance, cold tolerance, and edibility. It is admittedly not perfect, but gives a good overview of fruit and nut producing species for temperate climates.
- Plants for a Future: A very comprehensive database by Ken Mills in the UK. This database can also be downloaded as a Microsoft Access database file. As described on the website, “Plants For A Future (PFAF) is a charitable company, originally set up to support the work of Ken and Addy Fern on their experimental site in Cornwall, where they carried out research and provided information on edible and otherwise useful plants suitable for growing outdoors in a temperate climate. Over time they planted 1500 species of edible plants on ‘The Field’ in Cornwall, which was their base since 1989. Over ten years ago, Ken began compiling a database, which currently consists of approximately 7000 species of plants.”
- The Atriplix Project: From the Atriplix website, “Modeled after Dave Jacke’s exhaustive plant species matrix in the back of Edible Forest Gardens, Volume 2, Atriplex is sortable by climate zone, light/soil preferences, size, and a host of other attributes
There are also numerous books that contain species recommendations and matrices that I have listed below. By far the most comprehensive of these is contained in the Edible Forest Gardens two volume set, however most of these species can also be found in Ken Mill’s Plants for a Future Database.