Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) are taxa that have phylogenetic relationships with cultivated plants. They are important components of biodiversity, contributing, along with other species, to the ecosystem homeostasis and provided services; in addition to that they also have a direct economic value containing genes that are useful for the genetic improvement of cultivated plants (i.e. plant breeding). Traits like resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, higher storage capability and content of nutrients are often found in CWR. When introgressed in cultivated materials such traits can contribute to improve our food as well as to increase the sustainability of agriculture. The value of these traits for the agricultural world market is estimated in billions of dollars per year.

Wild Harvested Plants (WHP) are taxa traditionally collected in nature by local human populations for a variety of uses (e.g. as drug, food, feed, dye, fibre, cosmetic, ornamental). A WHP can also be a CWR.

In the present environmental situation, both CWR and WHP, important Plant Genetic Resources, can be under threat and therefore in need of specific protection measures.

The here available Database is a synonymized list of plant taxa present in Italy which are CWR and/or WHP. It includes information related to their origin, distribution, use, possible use in plant breeding and economic relevance.

As such, this Database stands as a solid starting point for the development of in situ and ex situ conservation strategies which can enhance the maintenance of habitats, the nourishment of humans, and their associated species, as well as the environmental sustainability.

The data presented in the Database were collected during many years by the University of Perugia and recently benefited from the support of University of Palermo.


For any use of the data made available in this Database we kindly ask you to quote the following manuscript where it is originally described:

Ciancaleoni S., Raggi L., Barone G., Donnini D., Gigante D., Domina G., Negri V. 2021 A new list and prioritization of wild plants of socio-economic interest in Italy: towards a conservation strategy. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems https://doi.org/10.1080/21683565.2021.1917469

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