- About the Land F/X Plant Database
- Adding Plants to Our Master Database: Overview
- Guidelines for Adding Plants
- Adding Plants from the PlantFile Online Database
Can't find a specific plant in our database? It's easy to add it yourself. Keep in mind that when you add a plant to our database, that plant will be available to every Land F/X user if we approve it.
If you add a plant to our database, it will initially only be added to the plant database available in your office. Our team will receive an automatic notice that a plant has been added and will research the plant variety. If we deem it a viable plant, we will add it to our plant database, making that plant available to everyone who uses our software worldwide. What not to request as a new plant, plus alternatives
About the Land F/X Plant Database
The Land F/X Master Plant Database is an ever-growing hub with all the basic information about plants used for landscape design. It includes accurately spelled botanical names, popular common names, and critical data such as hardiness zone, water use, soil, sun exposure, type, landscape use, mature height and width, traits, origin, season, and bloom color. It can also include common names in languages other than English, such as French, German, and Spanish.
Our plant database is a wiki based, meaning the first point of adding a plant is the user. When adding a plant, users can add the associated data. Our team is then notified and verifies that the plant and all assigned data are correct.
When checking, we use botanical garden sources and public databases such as Missouri Botanical Garden, UFEI, and North Carolina State University. We also use reputable nursery resources such as San Marcos Growers, Proven Winners, and Monrovia, among many others. Because our database includes plants from all over the world, there is no single source to rely on for that data. We cross-check data when possinle, but sometimes only one source is available. The best resource varies from region to region, so we have to use a variety of resources, along with the initial suggestion from the user.
Once we've cross-checked all this information, we add it to the database for all users. Thereafter, users can suggest edits, which we also review before making them public.
If you are required to list a source for your plant data, please list Land F/X as your reference.
Adding Plants to Our Master Database: Overview
You can add plants to our master plant database from our Plant Manager. Open the Plant Manager:
F/X Planting ribbon, Plant Manager flyout
Plant Manager toolbar
F/X Planting menu, Plant Manager option
or type ProjectPlants in the Command line
or type ProjectPlants in the Command line
In the Plant Manager, select the plant category where you'd like to add a plant. Then click New.
It's important to select the correct category for a plant you want to add. Plants that are typically listed in one category will not be listed in others. For example, if you want to add a shrub, select the Shrubs or Shrub Areas category. Then, before adding your plant, look for it in the list. There's a good chance you'll see it. If not, go ahead and add it.
The following dialog box will open. Click New Plant.
The plant name will autopopulate based on what you selected from the database. If you want a completely different name, click Clear All.
Enter a Genus, Species, Variety, and Common Name for the new plant.
Make sure the correct checkbox for the plant type you want to add (Tree, Shrub, or Groundcover) is selected in the top right corner of the dialog box.
Click OK when finished.
Error adding plant, or Invalid error: Are you getting one of these error messages when trying to add a plant? You likely had the wrong category selected, and the plant you're trying to add is already listed in one of the other categories (Trees, Shrubs, Shrub Areas, or Ground Covers). Go back to the Plant Manager, and select the correct category. Click New and look for your plant in that category. Chances are, you'll find it.
Our team will vet the plant you added, verifying that it's a valid plant and does not already exist in our database. If we accept your plant, it will be added to the plant database and will be available to add to a project.
Wondering how we verify whether a plant name is valid? See our detailed Plant Database Nomenclature Protocol.
Guidelines for Adding Plants
When adding a plant to our database, you can help speed up our vetting process by using the following guidelines for entering text in each field within the New Plant dialog box.
We follow the botanical nomenclature rules set out by the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (9th Ed.), published by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). This text is the widely accepted rulebook for botanical and horticultural nomenclature, as well as a go-to source if you are unsure of a nomenclature rule.
Entries in the Genus field should be just the genus name and should not include the specific epithet (that is, the second word in the binomial species name). The genus should always be capitalized, like a proper noun. In plant terms, the genus is like the plant's last name.
Entries in the Species field should be just the specific epithet (second word in the binomial species name), and should not include varieties, as these are entered in the variety box.
Species words are adjectives that describe the genera (genuses) to which they are tied. Because they are adjectives, they are never capitalized.
Hybrid cultivars can be entered either with their hybrid parentage (ex: griseum x nikoense), or just by entering a lowercase x in the Species box.
Entries in the Variety field can consist of botanically recognized varieties, subspecies (example: Armeria maritima var. californica), or cultivar names (example: 'Nifty Thrifty').
Varieties and subspecies are part of the Latin botanical name and, like the specific epithet, are adjectives so are not capitalized. Cultivars are always enclosed in single quotes, and each word of the cultivar is capitalized (examples: 'JN2', 'Nifty Thrifty'). Trademark phrases should not be entered in the Variety field.
Many valid plant names don't have a variety in this sense. In this case, you can leave the Variety field blank.
Entries in the Common Name field can include any trademark that's tied to the plant, plus a common name for the species. This field can also include the cultivar name again.
In our database, every word in the common name is capitalized. You will need to capitalize the words, as they will not capitalize automatically when entered.
What Not to Request, Plus Alternatives
Wondering why we enter plants the way we do, or have a nomenclature question that's still unanswered? Check out our in-depth Plant Database Nomenclature Protocol. This document breaks down the nomenclature standards denoted in the Scripta Horticulturae by ISHS – the authority on cultivated plant naming conventions.
We've seen a number of users enter items that aren't plants at all – anything from "pavers" or "gravel" to "existing plant." Please do not request that we add anything for use as a project plant besides a viable plant that has at least a valid genus and species. Items better suited for other features in our software include:
- Hardscaping materials such as pavers or gravel, better suited for Area/Volume Reference Notes.
- Site amenities, better suited for Amenity Reference Notes.
- Generic plants such as "rose to be selected by homeowner," "plant to be named later," non-specific plant names (examples include "perennial oak," "herbs," "vegetable:etc., better suited for our Generic Plants tool.
- Seed/grass mixes, better suited for our Concept Plants tool.
- Items meant to be directions for the contractor or general notes about plants (examples include "Existing plant," "To be removed," etc.), better suited for either Concept Plants or Reference Notes, depending on your preference.
- Plant info that is not a name, better suited for Reference Notes or Generic Plants.
Alternatives: Generic Plants vs. Concept Plants vs. Project Plants vs. Reference Notes
With Generic Plants, Concept Plants, and project plants, you have three basic options placing plants in your drawings, each with its own specific purpose in the design phase. You can also choose to add other items to your projects as Reference Notes, which provide a way to assign data to blocks, hatches, or linear objects that aren't considered viable plants under our criteria.
- Generic Plants are "dumb" plant blocks (that is, they have no data attached to them). Designing with Generic Plants is like designing the old way – just putting plant symbols in your drawing without assigning them to plants from a database. Essentially, they serve as placeholders until you’re ready to replace them with actual plants from our database using our Match Properties tool.
- You can use Concept Plants to complete a high-level conversation plan with the client before locking into your final plants. Concept Plants also provide an easy way to create seed and grass mixes instead of committing to one plant or another. replace them with actual plants from our database when ready. We also offer a series of plant symbols specifically designed to depict trees or shrubs to be removed or otherwise remediated.
- The Plant Manager is for when you know the exact plants you want to use.
- Reference Notes (RefNotes) can essentially be what you want them to be, including plants to be removed, mulches, and really anything that needs to have data assigned to it and be represented by a block, hatch, or linear object.
Adding Plants from the PlantFile Online Database
You also have the option of adding plants from PlantFile, an Australia-based online plant database, rather than using our default database.