Plant identification is a complex area that presents many difficulties for both amateurs and professionals. This complexity stems from a series of biological, environmental and technical factors.

What is the best app for plant identification?

In a world increasingly connected to technology, nature enthusiasts and gardeners of all levels have incredible tools at their disposal to explore the plant kingdom. Among these tools, plant identification apps stand out, allowing users to identify unknown species with just a photo. But with so many options available, which is the best plant identification app? 

1. PlantNet

O PlantNet is a "citizen science" app developed by scientists to help identify plants through photos. Its database is vast and continuously updated, making it extremely useful for identifying a wide range of species. As well as identifying plants, the app allows users to contribute their own photos to improve the accuracy of identifications and expand the database.

Although it is very accurate for common species, PlantNet can have difficulties identifying rare plants or hybrid varieties.

2. PictureThis

PictureThis is known for its user-friendly interface and fast results. It uses artificial intelligence to provide accurate identifications and detailed information on species, including care requirements, common problems and curiosities. It also offers an active community where users can share experiences and tips on gardening.

3. Seek by iNaturalist

Seek is an extension of the iNaturalist project and stands out for its educational and conservation mission. As well as identifying plants, it allows users to learn about local biodiversity and take part in citizen science projects. It offers virtual rewards to encourage users to explore and learn more about the natural world around them.

The app may be less intuitive for users who prefer a more plant identification-only experience, without the additional focus on education and conservation.

4. Flora Incognita

Developed by German research institutions, Flora Incognita is designed to be an educational tool as well as an identification app. It offers accurate identifications and detailed information on species, contributing to research and conservation projects. It's a great option for anyone looking to learn more about plants beyond just identifying them.

5. Google Lens

Although not an application dedicated exclusively to plant identification, Google Lens is a powerful tool that can recognize a wide range of objects, including plants. Its extensive database allows you to identify a large number of species, providing useful links to websites with additional information.

How to choose the best application

Plant identification is a skill that requires patience, practice and often expert guidance. Recognizing the difficulties inherent in this process is fundamental to a humble and careful approach to learning about the plant kingdom.

As technology advances, identification tools become more sophisticated, but direct experience with plants and traditional knowledge remain irreplaceable components in the study of botany.

When choosing the best plant identification app, it's important to consider what you value most: accuracy, educational details, contribution to science, or an active community. Each app has its strengths and limitations, so the best choice will vary according to your personal needs and interests.

Try out some of these apps to find out which one best suits your style of exploring nature. Whether it's to satisfy your curiosity, help in your garden or contribute to conservation projects, there's a plant identification app that will suit your needs perfectly. 

See also: 8 best apps for watching movies and series

February 15th, 2024