Public Very Interested in Smartphone Plant Identification Apps

Last year I wrote a post about plant identification apps for the iPhone. Since then it has consistently been one of the top two most popular posts on this blog. That tells me that the public is very interested in having apps that help them identify the plants they are seeing in the wild but so far there have only been a handful of apps available and none that are very good. The latest one I have seen is a Apple app of a plant quiz (Plant Trivia) that is fun but includes plants from the whole world which can be challenging. The iBird app is an example of a very interesting one for birds that shows the usefulness of these apps. I think developers would do well to consult with some of our regional botanical experts to develop useful plant identification apps that the public can use to help them enjoy their local flora. Turning Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide into an app might be a good start. – Steve Young

The iBird App

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3 Comments on “Public Very Interested in Smartphone Plant Identification Apps”


  1. We would buy a Newcomb Plant ID app right now of it exists.


  2. I’m waiting for someone to develop a program where you could enter key points such as size, color, number of petals,leaf shape and location, etc. and then you would receive suggestions and pictures of possible flowers. I guess that would be like Newcomb’s, wouldn’t it? Do you know if Newcomb’s is being revised to update new taxonomy?

    • nyflora Says:

      What you would like is a random access key for a portable unit like a phone or tablet. This could be done using Newcomb’s and including some species that they missed would be good. I have written to the publisher of Newcomb’s and suggested an update but no response.


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