In the age of technology, identifying plants has become a breeze with the advent of plant identification apps.
Whether you’re a hiker, a camper, or a gardening enthusiast, these apps can be your best companions, helping you identify plants, avoid harmful ones, and even design your dream garden.
This article delves into the world of plant identification apps, providing a detailed review of the top five apps that have been tested and approved by our editors.
The Need for Plant Identification
“We are driven to identify plants for various reasons,” says Erin C. Hill, Ph.D., an academic specialist in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University.
Curiosity about the world around us, managing gardens, agricultural fields, restored habitats, and natural preserves are some of the reasons that drive us to identify plants.
With the significant improvements in plant identification apps over the years, identifying plants has become as easy as taking a photo.
The Top Contender: PlantNet
After rigorous testing, PlantNet emerged as the top overall pick for the best plant identification app.
Its high level of accuracy, ease of use, and speed made the process of identifying plants a breeze.
PlantNet is a free app that guides you during setup, allows you to search by map or flora, and suggests enabling geolocation (GPS) to improve its plant identification.
How PlantNet Works
PlantNet is a collaborative “citizen science project” dedicated to worldwide plant biodiversity monitoring.
The app is based on image recognition and relies on member involvement. You take a photo and send it to the app, which then compares the image to thousands of images other users have added to its botanical database.
The app then provides a list of potential species that might match, and you “vote” for the species that seems to be the right one.
The algorithm collects that information and analyzes it against the database’s images from other users. It then decides the plant’s identity and informs you of the decision.
Other Noteworthy Apps
Other plant identification apps that were tested include FlowerChecker, LeafSnap Premium by Appixi, PlantID by Control, and PlantSnap Pro.
Each of these apps has its unique features and strengths, making them worthy contenders in the world of plant identification apps.
Avoiding Harmful Plants
Plant identification apps are not just about identifying beautiful flowers or plants for your garden.
They can also help you avoid harmful plants like poison ivy or poison oak. The article also provides tips on how to avoid rashes from poisonous plants, such as educating yourself about what these plants look like and keeping your tools clean.
Keeping Your Pets Safe
Certain plants can be lethal to animals if ingested. The article provides a list of plants that are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses, and provides tips on how to keep your pets safe from these plants.