Best plant identification apps

There are more than 350,000 plant varieties in the world. If you are a wildlife explorer or a gardening enthusiast, there must have been several instances when you got confused while trying to identify a plant variety or differentiating between two variants.

Some plants have distinctive features that make it easy for one to identify them but there are many which even an experienced gardener would find hard to trace the origin of.

So are you finding it difficult to identify plants?

Don’t worry! You don’t really need to be an expert on plants to identify different varieties. Having a reliable plant identification app installed on your phone would be enough.

Apart from helping you identify different plant varieties, these apps also help you recognise different types of trees, vegetables, weeds, flowers, and mushrooms.

Plant identification apps

Table of Contents

How to select the best plant identification app?

When you plan to download a free plant identification app, there are a few things you need to keep in your mind. You will find many mobile apps on Google Play and App Store but there are very few that would prove to be helpful to you.

Here are some of the factors you need to keep in mind while selecting an appropriate app.

Purpose

First, you need to decide on why you want to download a plant identification app. For instance, if you are a student or a scholar doing research on plant varieties, you will not benefit by downloading an app that focuses on wild plant varieties and has been designed for wildlife explorers.

To make sure that you download an app that caters to your requirements, you can go through the description of the app and read a few reviews on it. That would help you find out the user base the app has been designed for.

Database

A plant identification app that does not boast of a large database is not worth downloading. Unless an app has the requisite amount of data that helps it identify different plant varieties, it wouldn’t prove to be helpful at all.

Even if an app focuses on just one or two plant varieties, it should contain a large amount of information about them. Most plant identifiers prefer using an app that not only helps them recognise the species of the plant but also offers relevant information on it.

Features

Checking the features offered by an app is very important. Apart from helping the user recognise different plant varieties, many of these apps offer a plethora of other features as well. They guide you towards looking after your plants and help you become a better gardener.

Because of the valuable information provided by them, these are used even by scientists in their research. Some of the apps also come with bonus features like helping you find a location.

Here in this article, we have compiled a list of the 9 best plant identification apps that enjoy immense popularity among users. These apps will help you in the process of identifying different varieties of plants.

PlantNet Plant Identification

PlantNet Plant Identification is the most suitable app for those who look for simple or hassle-free operations. This particular app has a robust database and takes into account different elements like the leaves, bark, flowers, habit and fruits to identify which species it belongs to. The only thing you need to have on your phone is a picture of the plant variety you want to identify.

If we go by the information advertised on the app’s official page, then it can identify over 20,000 varieties of plants. Since plant lovers from all across the world keep contributing to it with their information, the database keeps expanding. This plant identification app is equally efficient at identifying wild plants and offering information on the shrubs and flowers growing in your garden.

Top Features of the App

  • Helps you get elaborate information on the rarest varieties of plants
  • Serves as a good companion during your day-to-day gardening activities
  • The database of this plant identification app comprises hard-to-find information from experts

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.9
4.9/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Planetnet app

LeafSnap – Plant Identification

If you have been looking for the best plant identification app for identifying unknown plants, you should consider downloading and using LeafSnap. It is one of the best free apps for identifying different plant varieties. This app comes with the kind of database that enables it to identify all the plants growing in different plants of the world.

LeafSnap’s user-friendly interface makes it a great plant identification app for older users who are not very well-versed with new-age technology. Whether you want to know about a photographed plant on your phone or identify flowers around you, this app will help you out. With just a few clicks, you can get all the information you want about any plant variety.

Top Features of the App

  • Easy-to-use features that offer great functionality
  • Huge database with AI recognition features
  • Apart from plant varieties, it can identify flowers, weeds, trees and several other objects

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.7
4.7/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Leafsnap app

PlantSnap – Identify Plants, Flowers, Trees & More

Equipped with artificial intelligence and a vast database, this plant identification app identifies different plant species with effortless ease. Apart from its plant recognition abilities, this gardening app is also known for providing valuable tips on plant care. Whether you have your own garden or are into biological research, this is a good app to have.

With the help of plant photos, it identifies the variety or the species they belong to. As compared to several other apps in this space, it is easy to operate. Along with plants, it can identify different types of trees, shrubs, weeds and mushrooms. After installing the app on your device, you just have to click a picture of a plant you wish to get information on and upload it.

Top Features of the App

  • The app enables you to put together your own personalised library
  • It responds very fast to images and the suggestions it brings up are very accurate
  • Since the database keeps getting updated, you will never have to worry about it not being able to identify a plant variety.

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.7
4.7/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Plant Snap App

Google Lens

Google Lens is a great app to identify unknown plants. It comes as a pre-installed app on most Android devices but it’s also available on App Store for Apple users. If you don’t find it on your phone or tablet, you can download it from the PlayStore. Google Lens has been marketed as an ‘image recognition’ app that can identify different types of living and non-living beings. Once you try it out on different plants, you will realise that it proves to be effective in identifying any variety of plants.

Since Google has one of the biggest pictorial database for plants, this app does a great job at recognising different plant varieties quickly. Once the result pops up, you can click on it to get further information on that plant variety. It will also direct you to several other plant varieties that are similar to the one you searched for. It is a free app that is loaded with a variety of useful features.

Top Features of the App

  • Identify different varieties of plants
  • Robust image recognition technology
  • Offers multiple useful suggestions
  • Can also be used to identify objects other than plants

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.6
4.6/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Google lens

iNaturalist

iNaturalist is a plant identification app that helps you recognise and learn about plants not just in your vicinity but also the ones that are growing in some faraway country. The app was developed with the intention of creating an online community of plant lovers, researchers and scientists to get reliable information on plants and discuss their findings with each other.

While the community experience provided by this plant identification app is its unique aspect, it also scores brownie points for its database that is big and reliable in equal measures. The finesse associated with this app is due to a collaborative effort of the National Geographic Society and the California Academy of Sciences.

Top Features of the App

  • Explore the most obscure varieties of plants growing across the world
  • Seek help and help others in discovering more about plants
  • Put together a journal about your observations and findings

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.5
4.5/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Inaturalist

Seek App

Seek is one of the most innovative free plant identification apps that you will come across. Armed with solid image recognition technology to identify the rarest of the rare plant species, this app has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of adventure seekers or nature lovers who are constantly on the move.

The database on this plant identification app has been built with the help of the observations and findings of several leading wildlife research institutes. Apart from helping you identify plants, the app also makes you well-informed about their history and life forms. The only drawback to this app is that it is not very receptive to user feedback.

Top Features of the App

  • Offers 360-degree information around plants right from their origin to properties
  • Offers innovative features that make it instantly appeal to younger customers
  • Ideal app for those who spend a lot of time amidst the forces of nature.

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.5
4.5/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Seek App

Flora Incognita – Automated Plant Identification

There are certain plant identification apps that specialise in identifying select varieties of plants. This app has been designed to identify wild plants. It was developed as an educational app by the scientists working in the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and the Technical University of Ilmenau and serves its primary purpose rather well.

Though not the most ideal app for identifying plants in one’s garden, this app covers the entire spectrum of wilder varieties very well. Despite being a free app, it features no advertisement. The design of the app contributes greatly towards smooth operations. The best way to use this app is to click a picture of the plant variety you want to identify and share it here.

Top Features of the App

  • Manages to identify more than 4,000 varieties of plants
  • The search mechanism is very fast, effective and reliable
  • It is possible to export observations and findings from external sources

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.4
4.4/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Flora Incognito App

Pinterest

Though identified as a social networking site by most people, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that there is a large community that uses Pinterest as a popular plant identification app. Out of the many plant identification apps we tested, Pinterest proved to be one of the most reliable when it came to identifying plants belonging to different genus and families.

The gardening app enables you to search for and identify different plant varieties with the help of images. If you are in no mood to go through the process of learning to use a specialised plant identifier app, you can have Pinterest as your gardening companion. You will stumble upon several other users who are into gardening and similar activities on this mobile app.

Top Features of the App

  • This is one of those plant identifier apps that work equally well as a social media platform and a search engine
  • It offers hassle-free operation and the type of interface that users get used to in no time
  • It functions much smoother than general plant recognition apps

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.5
4.5/5

Download/Install

IPhone  Android

Pinterest Plant Identification App

PictureThis

If you are looking for a simple app that can identify plants just by taking into account a photograph, then installing this app on your phone or tablet would be a good idea. This app offers a very high accuracy rate and that makes it one of the best plant identification apps around. If you have been trying to unravel the identity of an unknown plant for weeks, this is the right app for you to use.

What also makes it one of the best free plant identification apps is the fact that it has something for everyone. An average gardener would find the app as interesting as a researcher in a biological institute. If you are a student who has been curious about plants, you will find many people on this app to discuss your ideas with.

Top Features of the App

  • Offers factually correct information that you don’t have to double-check
  • Versatile features that cater to different sections of users
  • Offers a good amount of knowledge on looking after different plant varieties
  • Premium membership allows you to unlock several interesting features.

PROS

PROS

CONS

CONS

Gardentips 360 Rating: 4.3
4.3/5

Download/Install

IPhone Android

Picturethis app

Conclusion

We must confess we didnt try all the apps listed in the article above, our aim was to find a plant identification app that tould be suitable for the beginner and professional. In our eyes we had a clear winner but even this was not fool proof so we now have a couple in our arsenal.

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Oliver Wright

I hope you enjoy reading some of the content and ideas from this site, I tend to share articles and product reviews on a daily basis, so be rest assured… you won’t run out of things to read!

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