Have you ever seen a flower, plant, or tree and wished you knew its name? Maybe you recently spotted a plant in your yard that looks a lot like poison ivy and you want to know for sure. Well, guess what? There's an app for that! In fact, there are many plant identification apps. Check out these apps that can help you identify mystery flowers and plants all around you.
- PlantSnap. This Android app is easy to use and gives you accurate plant identification results in seconds. All you do is snap a picture and upload it to the app. The results come from a database of 585,000-plus plant species. This app is a free download.
- FlowerChecker. Take a photo of a plant, upload it in the app, and get your plant ID results from an expert botanist in an hour or less. FlowerChecker is compatible with Apple devices and costs $1 per successful identification of a plant.
- iNaturalist. If you like talking with other nature lovers about flowers and plants, this may be the app for you. Simply take a photo of a plant and share it in the app. Other nature-lovers will chime in with what they think you're looking at. This free app is compatible with Android devices.
- PictureThis. This free app has more than 30,000,000 users! Take a picture of a plant, upload it, and get identification results shortly thereafter. The results are provided by plant enthusiasts all over the globe. This app is Android- and iPhone-compatible.
- GardenAnswers. This free app is compatible with both iPhone and Android. Take a photo of a plant or flower, hit submit, and receive ID results from experts in horticulture. If you want fast, accurate results, this is a great choice!
- LikeThat Garden. The free LikeThat Garden app is compatible with Apple devices. Take a photo and get your results from the app's extensive database of plants and flowers. Read detailed descriptions and view more pictures of the plant you're interested in.
- Plantifier. Take a picture of an unknown plant or flower and let a community of plant enthusiasts help you to identify it. Plantifier is a free app and compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
- iPflanzen. Instead of taking a photo, iPflanzen asks you to provide information on the traits of an unknown plant. Results come from an extensive database of flowers and plants. I like the idea of an app that gets kids and adults studying the colors, shapes, and sizes of flowers. This free app is compatible with Apple devices and can work with other apps, including iGarten and iForest.
- Garden Tags. Take a picture of an unknown plant and share it with the community on Garden Tags. Get plant identification from fellow plant-lovers. This is a free app compatible with Android. In addition to plant IDs, you can get gardening tips and advice on this app.
- NatureGate. Instead of taking a photo to get an ID, enter information on a plant including its number of petals, color, habitat, and leaf shape. Entering information about a plant really gives you the opportunity to study it. NatureGate is a free app and compatible with iPhones.
A walk in the woods is even more enjoyable with the help of these and other plant identification apps. If you're a science teacher, take your students on a field trip to the woods and challenge them to identify at least 20 flowers. If you're a parent, while you're on vacation in the mountains or at the lake, work with your kids to discover and identify unfamiliar flowers together. Make a game of seeing which family member can identify the most flowers in 30 minutes! Talking about the flowers they've identified is another way to get kids excited about the natural world around them.
Next time you see an interesting-looking flower or plant, consult your go-to plant ID app and get all the answers. Thanks for reading. - Alan