From the introduction:
The Realms are vast, and there are a plethora of interesting things that spring up from the soil. Bushes, flowers and trees are all around, covering the Realms in various shades of green. Even in the far north amidst the ice, and the most inhospitable deserts, something grows. The Underdark even breeds strange things that grow far from the light of the sun.
Shamans and druids often find uses for the various parts of many plants, while alchemists grind up leaves and stems to add to their poisons and powders. Vintners are always looking for another sweet berry that makes an interesting wine, and craftsmen create works of art from the various woods that grow throughout Faerûn.
What soldier wouldn’t want his shield made of lightweight Darkwood, as durable as steel, but much less heavy? And what ship captain wouldn’t prefer his mainmast made of stronger wood?
What follows is a compilation of various choice plants and fungi throughout the Realms, from the Sword Coast to far off Maztica and Kara-Tur. Not all of the various species could be included in a single volume, as there are hundreds of species of plants and fungi that inhabit the world of Toril.