Dictionary of Words I Didn’t Know


DA – Dynamic Accumulator:

So what is a Dynamic Accumulator? In theory, it is a plant that brings nutrients up from the soil into a plant, which can then be composted and nutrients passed back to other important areas of the garden. It is a name given to a concept that gardeners have used, with success, to improve their soils.

That being said, because it has not been researched by the scientific community, it cannot be proven scientifically. Virtually all information on the subject is from gardening and farming personal experience. So you can look at it two ways, either you think it is hogwash…or you get to involve yourself in a giant new age of experimentation, excitedly passing successes and failures on to your fellow plant lovers! And since I love plants…I’m IN!


Officinalis c. 1720 – kept in stock by a druggist; Medieval Latin – literally “of or belonging in an Officine” a storeroom for medicines and  necessaries.When you see this word in the botanical name of a plant, sit up and pay attention. Not only does it mean that this plant has hundreds, if not thousands of years of use recorded, it also generally means that it could be a dynamic accumulator.

And while I could go into great detail I really don’t want to bore you, so when you simplify how you look at it, these herbs generally have deep root systems that bring nutrients up to the surface and to the plant, thereby bringing them up to surrounding areas as well.

In a permaculture type environment, this is something to always keep in the back of your mind. One of the most important things you can do is keep nutrients close to the surface.

Plants like marshmallow(althea officinalis), asparagus(asparagus officinalis) lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), all are very good at bringing nutrients to the surrounding soil. Even the lowly dandelion(taraxacum officinale) is a dynamic accumulator!  And as a bonus they are all edible in one form or another!

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