It can be frustrating when you’re out for a walk and you struggle to recall the name of a wild flower. Or you find yourself admiring a particularly nice specimen at an Open Garden event, but you have no idea what it is. Even though I still have my copy of the Spotters guide to Wildflowers, when you’re out and about and there’s no botanist on hand, what you need is an App.
There are many good Apps available to identify your plant but our tried and tested favourite is Pl@ntNet Plant Identification for Android and IOS.
Pl@ntNet is an App that enables you to identify a plant using image recognition, for example by taking a photo with your mobile. Simply take the photo, confirm whether it is a leaf, flower, fruit or bark and the App will suggest what the plant is. Pl@ntNet allows you to identify and better understand all kinds of plants living in nature: flowering plants, trees, grasses, conifers, ferns, cacti and vines. At present it has information on 20,000 species and every time you contribute an image their data becomes richer.
Last time I used it was when I was gifted a small ‘artichoke’ plant which didn’t look right to me, on using the App I discovered that it was in fact a sunflower.
You will also be contributing on a much larger scale every time you use the App. In science the more data collected the better as it gives more information to analyse and study. Changes on a global scale mean a lot of data is needed and that’s why Citizen Science Projects are important. All the Pl@ntNet App information is shared with scientists and conservationists to inform their research, so whilst you are using the App, you are getting involved with furthering the understanding of plant diversity and how to preserve it.