Distinguishing an oak from maple or a chestnut tree is a simple task for anyone, but the list of plant species that grow in America is so long that even the best specialists have had a hard time identifying everything they find while walking through the countryside.
Like the Shazam app that identifies song titles or, Vivino, that identifies a wine by photographing its label, others identify plants and vegetation.
The development of mobile applications for plant identification is booming nowadays. The real challenge is the consolidation of a large database that stores and fetches information on your phone. There are applications that use artificial intelligence algorithms to identify plant species, but it’s not as simple as it seems. We are talking about a challenge of enormous magnitudes considering that there are about 400,000 species on the planet.
Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point where data is accessible almost anywhere on the planet. Mobile applications, much like the ones mentioned below, search your captured picture against a database of information to tell you exactly what plant you have right in front of you. Here is a list of free mobile applications that help you identify plants.
What application is most recommended?
One of the aspects that you have to take into account if you want to use these applications is that while each application might have the same purpose, they are unique in terms of their navigation, search results, and navigation. This way, applications stand out from each other by either having a large library of wild plants, quick search results, or other searching options like comparing results of indoor plants with garden plants, etc. The most advisable thing will be to look for the one that best suits your needs since each application has its pros and cons. Some might work when identifying exotic plants, while others may not.
On the other hand, one of the aspects that must be taken into account is that, although there are smartphone applications that work very well when identifying plants, they can sometimes fail or simply not have the plant information in their database. In these cases, it is best to have a plan B. How is that possible? Download more than one application. Not only will you have more options to choose from but a reliable answer to your query.
As you can see, although all of these applications are very similar, each has its own peculiarities. So, whether you are a mountain lover or an urban farmer who loves organic food, take a look at each one of them, and you will surely find the one you need.
List of Apps to Identify Plants by Photo:
We start with one of the best known and highly valued options on this list. PlantNet is an application that has a huge database with plants of all kinds. Not only does it help you identify local plants but also the ones that are exotic. With a wide variety of options at your disposal, this plant identification application is already being called the “Botanical Shazam” by most plant researchers and enthusiasts.
How PlantNet works is quite simple -All you have to do is just take a picture of the plant in question and upload it to the application. Once the picture is successfully uploaded, the app will then start to look for possible options that match your photo. The best thing about PlantNet is that the application gives you tips on how to take the photo in a way that allows you to get a precise search result.
PlantNet’s Android application is completely free on Google PlayStore. In addition, there are neither purchases nor advertisements inside which helps you get the results you need without the pesky clickbait images.
PictureThis is another option that stands out in our list of plant identification applications. This application is currently free on the Google PlayStore and has had success within a short span of time. The app already has tons of good ratings from the users who have downloaded it and why? This application is easy to use, precise and quick when generating search results.
The operation of this application is identical to that of PlantNet. You have to take a picture of the plant in question, and the application will help you identify the species of plants it belongs to. You can use this app to identify plants, flowers & trees since it has a wide database with information about over 500,000 species of plants.
You can download PictureThis for free on the Google PlayStore.
Garden Answers App
In third place, we find another application that stands out for being very effective in identifying the plants that we often find in our way. The operation is the same as that of the other applications. What’s special about Garden Answersis that it fetches quick results from its database that has information about 20,000+ species of plants. The application can identify plants almost immediately, so you don’t need to wait to know what kind of plant it is.
You can download the Garden Answers application for free. Although you can find purchases inside the application that allows you to unlock full features.
PlantSnap is much more than just an application to identify plants. Not only does this app allow you to identify trees & flowers but much more. A very good option for when you’re out in the wild, PlantSnap can work in low-light areas as well. The operation is the same as in previous cases. You will have to take a picture, and the application will help us identify the name of the plant or tree is. It also does it quite quickly, making it an effective and very useful tool. They have a database with 316,000 different species, so it is almost certain that they will find it.
You can download PlantSnap on the Google PlayStore, although It has purchases inside.
iKnow Trees App
If you’re walking through a forest and find yourself around trees species you know nothing about, then don’t worry. iKnow Trees works just like PlantNet, but the only kicker is that this app can only identify trees. The platform allows you to identify the type of leaf and other aspects of the tree such as size, color, fruits, etc. There is very good information (with extensive descriptions) about 100 species of trees, and a game that challenges your knowledge on the subject.
iKnow Trees is available only for Android.
Leafsnap has one of the most elegant designs ever made (so far). Comparing it to the other applications on this list, the navigational options on this app are absolutely brilliant. The flora and fauna information it contains is provided by the University of Columbia, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institute. It has information from the United States and Canada.
Leafsnap is available in English and for iOS only.
Edible Mushrooms and Edible Wild Plants
There are many edible plants (maybe you know many of them). Knowing this can even save your life. This app is a guide to edible wild plants (both local and exotic), and even helps you in case you get confused between two similar species of plants.
Book of Mushrooms is available for Android.
Other sites of interest
Although they are not as innovative as these apps, there are sites that serve the same purpose – identifying plants and trees around us. Plantas is a very active Facebook community, with almost 200,000 members from all over Latin America who share information, ask questions (“how do you take care of a Chinese Rose?”, “What fast-growing trees can you plant?”) And upload photos from their own gardens.
Plantshopyyc and Botanicalpickmeup deal with ornamental design, indoor or outdoor plants. They are focused on the decoration and design of environments. Great if you want to add some plants and trees inside your garden.