Want to know your Sneezewort from your Monkey Puzzle Tree? You can now use your smartphone to identify plants or prove to a friend that you know that blue flower is in fact Lupine. So grab your device, because plant-identification apps can help your botanical knowledge grow.
Free on Android, $3.99 on iOS. The app’s artificial intelligence algorithm requires that you take crisp, clear photos of just a few leaves or a single flower (no whole trees). The algorithm then scans the photo and helps you name your plant in a snap. Once PlantSnap tells you what plant you have, you can read more about it. Works on every continent and has over 500,000 species in the searchable database.
Free on Android and iOS. If you have a pest, disease or plant you want help recognizing, this is the app. Take a photo and submit it to experts who can name it and provide advice on care.
Free on Android and iOS. Artificial intelligence is used here to immediately ID all kinds of plants and wildlife, and it’s also a social network for naturalists — you can record and share observations of plants, add them to the database and in turn ask the community for help identifying your finds. iNaturalist is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
Free on iOS. This app uses visual recognition software to correctly recognize plants and will catalog your photos so you can build your own reference library. High-res images are a bonus here. Developed by the University of Maryland, Smithsonian Institution and Columbia University.
Free on Android and iOS. This crowdsourced plant recognition app allows you to upload an image of an unknown plant; the users of the MyGarden.org community attempt to identify the plant and answer questions.
Free on Android and iOS. Pinpoint the identities of more than 1,500 park, garden and forest plants using basic traits like flower structure or leaf shape.
Free on Android and iOS. Get help IDing plants and receive custom care through a “digital care calendar” that keeps track of the needs of every plant in your garden and alerts you when it is time to take action.
This article originally appeared on marinmagazine.com.
Kier Holmes is a native, Marin-based landscape designer who works at M2 Design and Construction, for over 15 years, has artfully designed and created sustainable gardens that are dynamic year round. She also writes for Gardenista, is an elementary school garden educator, a garden speaker for adults and leader of the Garden Club for kids at the Mill Valley Library. Holmes readily admits that she is a nerd about all things plant related, and can geek out on a dinner-plate dahlia like nobody’s business. Her natural habitat is among flowers and her hands are almost always dirty.