NTFP Info.us
Nontimber Forest Product Resources
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About This Website & FAQ NTFP Species Database NTFP Publications   Other NTFP Sites
This database is designed to show the many possible commercial nontimber forest product species that occur in each state, the various common names used to describe a species, and the different parts of a species that may be marketable. The database was created in 1999 and has been updated approximately every three years. If you find errors or have missing data you would like to be considered for inclusion in the database please email help@ntfpinfo.us. The database is not intended as a substitute for expert experience and professional guidebooks to understand if a species is safe for human handling, consumption, or application.  Always  positively identify any species and understand exactly what the safety requirements and sustainable harvesting practices are.  Between 1999 and 2018 the database had a search engine interface with boolean logic. We maintained this interface through years of technological changes in webbased technologies, periodic funding from agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, and through generous probono and reduced rates by several programmers. In January 2019 we opted to simply make the data available as a downloadable spreadsheet until such time that we receive funding to update the search engine to current web standards. If you are a programmer and would like to volunteer your time to help us update the search engine we welcome the opportunity to work with you. Until then, users will have to use the search tools within their spreadsheet program to do basic sorting.

Anyone may download, use, and manipulate the spreadsheet data as they like for free. If you want to cite us use: Commercial Nontimber Forest Product Species in the United States. 2012. Editors, James Weigand, Eric T. Jones. Institute for Culture and Ecology. Our only request is that if you have suggested updates for our spreadsheet that you email it seperately (i.e., not a spreadsheet) and we will update the master file.

Download NTFP Species Spreadsheet

Most of the species in the database are native, but some non-native species with commercial markets are also listed. Though there are thousands of species entered in the database, there are many NTFP species not listed. Listings for subtropical and tropical regions, including Hawaii, Florida and the U.S. territories are the least complete. For the parts used category, the listing for commercial native seed is probably the least complete as nearly every native plant that seed can be collected from in the U.S. shows up in catalogs for sell, or is bought by seed banks, researchers and other seed interests.  The state distribution for most species has been listed according to the USDA Native Plants Native Plant Disbtribution List.  This database is not an endorsement of harvesting any specific species in any particular area. Some species may be highly abundant in some localities (or being disturbed due to other activities like logging), but the same species in another locality may be scarce and/or culturally or ecologically more sensitive. Therefore, it's important to research the local context for each species of interest. Note that many species share common names and that scientific names can change as the nomenclature is refined. 

This database covers the entire U.S. as well as species from many of the U.S. territories.  Keep in mind that some species listed are desirable native species in one area, but considered a weed in another.  What the land is used for can be a significant factor in what is labeled a weed, invasive or a pest.  Cross-referencing your findings with the
USDA Plants Database can help you determine what is native to your county and state.  A good overview article to read is "An Ecological Undertanding of Weeds" by Mark Schonbeck available for free at the eXtension website.
Product Use(s) Categories:
In this database we have assigned species into several broad use categories. In this database we have assigned species into several broad use categories.  Most species fall into more than one use category.  The list below provides examples of what our use categories include.  For more detailed breakdowns users might try other resources such as the Oregon Forest Industry Directory which has an NTFP section with 38 product categories.
  • Aromatic and Fragrance:  essential oil for scenting products
  • Decorative and Craft examples:  burls, figured wood, dyes, willow furniture, fossilized resin like amber
  • Food and Flavorings examples:  big leaf maple syrup, morel mushrooms, ramps, truffles
  • Landscaping and Restoration:  transplants, seed collection
  • Medicinal examples:  Oregon grape root, usnea
  • Other:  firewood, sealants such as naval stores, rubber, glues, animal bedding