The Natural Capital™ Plant Database is a repository of temperate climate plant information for ecological design. We have combined the best sources of plant research and documentation in order to provide the highest integrity for a wide variety of users.  Whether you are a first-time gardener or an experienced permaculture designer, we hope you find the information you need to take your knowledge of plants and ecological systems to the next level.  We use citations from multiple sources and provide detail on plant characteristics, tolerances and behaviors, ecological functions, human uses, concerns, and plant associates.

Ecological Design and Southwoods Permaculture partner together to offer the Natural Capital Plant Database! 

The Natural Capital Plant Database provides: 

  • Plant Selections (Alphabetical listings of with linked data files)
  • Plant Searches by Niche (Tolerances, Behaviors, Ecological Functions, and Human Uses)
  • Natural Associates (Native Plant Communities and Natural Polycultures)
  • Cultivated Polycultures and Plant Guilds

Whether you are a first-time gardener or an experienced permaculture designer, we hope you find the information you need to take your knowledge of plants and ecological systems to the next level.  We use citations from multiple sources and provide detail on plant characteristics, tolerances and behaviors, ecological functions, human uses, concerns, and plant associates. Find us on Facebook too!


Restorative Agriculture...a quiet revolution on the land.

If you look at the greater Blue Earth watershed in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, you see traditional commodity agriculture…or do you?

Look more closely. Along the rivers and streams, among the nooks and crannies, a new model is emerging, one where a variety of perennial “third” crops are adding value to the two-crop system of corn and soybeans—and returning the land to ecological health.

This Perennial Land is the story of a beautiful and intensely farmed land that has been written off as a “sacrificial landscape”—a natural place ceded entirely to industrial use—even by many concerned about the environment. Through essays and photographs, the authors trace the natural and cultural history of the land, share stories of a new breed of pioneer farming with nature in mind, and a future vision of a restorative agriculture. They make a compelling case for changing what we grow in this working landscape and how and where we grow it in order to restore historic function at a landscape scale. Accompanied by a remarkable “opportunity map” it offers a rough blueprint—a conceptual starting point—for landowners, policymakers, and citizen who want a part in forging a new vision for returning health, beauty, and economic stability to corn and soybean country. To learn more or purchase the book, visit Perennial Lands