Have you ever run across a flower or plant in someone else’s garden or yard and wanted to buy one for yourself? Unless you recognize it, you don’t have that luxury, and you might find yourself scrolling through pages of Google images in the vain hope of finding it.
If you want to avoid that frustration, consider downloading one of these apps. Each one will help you identify plants and flowers so you can find exactly what you want.
Image via Flickr by opopododo
This free, full-featured app, only available for iOS devices, helps you identify plants and flowers by snapping quick pictures of them. Just take a photo of the plant that interests you and upload it to the app. The engine will sort through its own database of images to find plants that match its characteristics or features.
LikeThat Garden can also identify butterflies and suggest plants and flowers that you might like based on your search history. It’s an ideal app for a device like the iPad mini 4, which has an 8-inch Retina display to view photos clearly, as well as an 8-megapixel iSight camera for taking the photos, but is still small enough to carry with you.
If you’re an iOS user, you might also enjoy Leafsnap. It’s similar to LikeThat Garden in that it allows you to distinguish plants via photographs. However, it focuses specifically on the plant’s leaves and is designed for identifying trees. It started as a field guide created by university and Smithsonian researchers, but now it’s available in digital form, too.
Leafsnap is free to use and features an elegant user interface with a black background, which can help photographs stand out. Each entry comes with unique, interesting facts about the tree, including its full name and its origin.
You might not have the budget to hire your own personal horticulturist, but Plantifier offers a far more cost-effective solution. You’ll upload a photograph of the plant for this free app, as well, but you’ll rely on the community of plant enthusiasts at MyGarden.org to identify the plant or flower. When someone recognizes it, he or she answers your query.
You can download Plantifier for both Android and iOS devices, which makes it a diverse tool for your gardening needs. Although you’ll have to wait for a community member to get back to you, this gives you the advantage of a large, diverse pool of knowledge to help you find a match.
If it’s raining outside or if the owner of a garden has posted no-photography signs, you might not have the chance to snap a picture to discern a plant or flower. iPflanzen offers a convenient alternative. This free app allows you to input the characteristics of a plant, such as flower-petal shape and leaf size. The app then returns possible matches.
It’s a fairly simplistic design and doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but you might prefer it if you want to avoid taking lots of photos and are good at detailed descriptions. iPflanzen works on iOS devices only and has a database of more than 1,500 plants.
Available on iOS and Android devices for $2.99, the GSM Wildflowers app focuses on flowers that are native to the Great Smoky Mountains region. If you live in this area or if you’re planning a trip, you can take advantage of the information on 180 wildflowers housed in the app’s database.
It’s not just for identifying flowers, either. Each entry has detailed information about the plant’s qualities and needs. Most have multiple photographs, so you can view the plant from multiple angles to ensure that it’s the one you’re searching for.
MyNature Tree Guide
If you’re more interested in trees than flowers, this $1.99 iPhone app might suit you best. It can recognize more than 190 trees that are indigenous to North America. You can search for trees based on their leaves or their needles, depending on the species, which makes it a versatile choice.
Whether you’re a plant hobbyist or a nature lover, these apps will make sure that you can identify plants and flowers with just a few taps of your phone or tablet.