Apps for Mobile Devices

Mobile apps related to the subjects discussed on the UBCBG forums

  1. wcutler
    Web links to apps related to any forum subjects

    Welcome to Mobile Apps Resources. Feel free to check out the links, add your comments or submit your own app suggestions by clicking the button on the right and discussing them on the forum. Read the reviews - these have been suggested to us, but we are not familiar with them all.

    Erin Hill at Michigan State University, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, on April 2, 2021, published an article regarding her evaluation of 14 apps ranked each year based on the comparative number of correct identifications. A comparison is shown for the top six from the 2020 evaluation.
    Plant identification? There’s an app for that—actually several! - Landscaping (

    Featured app from UBC Botanical Garden:
    Vancouver Trees
    Vancouver Trees is a mobile app that describes commonly cultivated trees in the Metro Vancouver area. Users of the app can browse the extensive catalogue of nearly a thousand different trees, each one accurately described by its identification features, ecological needs and availability. Users can search the library of tree images, view tree locations on maps, and create favourite plant lists, either to share or to make a personal archive for quick referencing. The advanced search capability allows users to search for trees based on a long list of identification features and landscape use criteria. The app is a comprehensive resource for students, landscape professionals, gardeners, arborists, or anyone else with an interest in Vancouver’s trees. Vancouver Trees will definitely help users to make informed decisions when planting and designing with trees. The Vancouver Trees mobile app is available in a professional version (Vancouver Trees Pro) with all of the above features, and in a no-frills basic version (Vancouver Trees Basic) for casual users.

    Download from: iTunes Store; Android version is coming

    Link location Vancouver Trees App | UBC Botanical Garden
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 3 Nov 2015

    Bing Visualsearch
    This Name that Plant app from Microsoft is available from the Bing search engine on a computer or mobile device. Identify plants and flowers when you upload a picture or take a photo with your phone. Learn the scientific names and different varieties, and find similar flora.

    Link location Name that plant | Bing Visual Search
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 14 Jun 2022

    Dirr's Tree and Shrub Finder
    This has been removed from the Canadian Apple store, or maybe totally removed. There are comments about its never having been updated.
    Dirr's Tree and Shrub Finder is the most comprehensive, authoritative, and interactive directory for trees and shrubs. With extensive search criteria and detailed text by woody plant expert Dr. Michael A. Dirr, users can quickly and easily find the perfect plant for any situation. Ideal for landscape designers, horticulture professionals, students, and plant enthusiasts.

    Based on Michael A. Dirr's classic work, The Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, the Tree and Shrub Finder is the most comprehensive tree and shrub directory available, covering over 9,400 woody plants, with 7,600 high-quality plant images. The plant database is searchable by 72 criteria, including hardiness zones, water and light requirements, growth characteristics, flowers, fruits, and fall colors.

    Link location (not currently available, at least in Canada)
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 3 Nov 2015; last reviewed 9 Jun 2020

    Garden Compass
    The Garden Compass app empowers users to garden smarter. Just take a picture of any flower, plant, or pest and send it to a horticultural expert for an accurate answer. Identified plants can then be placed in the personalized Care Calendar that lists specific instructions and products for each plant.

    Download from: iTunes Store; Google Play Store

    Link location Welcome to Garden Compass - Garden Compass
    Submitted by wcutler, info from Ron B
    Submitted date 21 Apr 2016

    iNaturalist is a crowdsourced species identification system and an organism occurrence recording tool. You can use it to record your own observations, get help with identifications, collaborate with others to collect this kind of information for a common purpose, or access the observational data collected by iNaturalist users. This free app was the runner up last year, the first year it was included, in the Michigan State evaluation.

    Link location A Community for Naturalists · iNaturalist
    Submitted by Daniel Mosquin, wcutler
    Submitted date 14 Jun 2021; last confirmed 14 Jun 2021

    iNaturalist Seek
    Use the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you. Earn badges for seeing different types of plants, birds, fungi and more! This is available on iOS 11 at later. For iOS 15 and later, see the iOS Photos Look Up app.

    Link location Seek by iNaturalist on the App Store (; on Android: Seek for Android - APK Download (
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 14 Jun 2022

    iOS Photos Look Up - Plant
    This seems to be available starting with iOS15 or later. Open the Photos app on your ‌iPhone‌ and select a picture with a clearly defined subject, such as a flower or animal. Check the info (" i ") icon at the bottom of the screen. If it has a little star over it, tap it – this indicates there's a Visual Lookup you can examine.

    Link location Look up what's in a photo with your iPhone or iPad - Apple Support
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 14 Jun 2022

    This has changed the URL, and there is very little information on the homepage, and one of the menu items is misspelled. There are, however, good recent reviews on the download sites.

    This information was on the original page, is not available now and I (wcutler) do not know how much is still true. You could comment on the resource discussion page.
    Leafsnap is a series of electronic field guides being developed by Columbia University in collaboration with other groups (see the About page) to demonstrate the use of visual recognition technology to identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. It contains high-resolution images of their flowers, fruits, petioles, seeds, and bark. The Original Leafsnap currently includes trees found in the Northeastern United States and Canada, and will soon grow to cover the trees of the entire continental United States. There is also a version for the UK.

    Download are available from Apple Apps and Google Play Store
    Internet connection is required only for the visual recognition

    Link location LeafSnap - Plant Identification (
    Submitted by Matt Park
    Submitted date 19 Nov 2015; date confirmed: 2020 Dec 12

    My Tree
    My Tree provides 94 species of native trees of Canada and their hardiness zones to allow Canadians to select a suitable tree for their environment. This application allows users to identify their Canadian hardiness zone using mobile device’s GPS or manually via a touch screen and determine which native trees are adapted to the climate in their location and other hardiness zones within Canada. Users can access photos, illustrations, and basic information on each native tree of Canada profiled in the application. The app is free.

    Download from:
    iTunes Store or Google Play

    Link location (As of the submitted date, there is no info about or link to this on the provider's website: Forests | Natural Resources Canada.)
    Submitted by Junglekeeper
    Submitted date 4 Nov 2016

    Palm ID Key
    The Palm ID Key app assists users in identifying various cultivated palms and the diseases and pests that affect them. This app includes photographs and descriptions of 82 common palm species within the United States and Caribbean Islands. The app was developed by the US Department of Agriculture APHIS ITP and is free.

    Download from: iTunes Store or Google Play

    Link location ITP | Find ID support
    Submitted by Junglekeeper
    Submitted date 11 Aug 2016

    Online plant encyclopedia and plant identifier. The website offers info from the plant database including photos. This has been the reigning champion for correct identifications for three years in a row in the Michigan State evaluation (mentioned at the top of this page). PictureThis offers a free version of the app (the one that was tested) and a paid version. The app is quite persistent in advertising the paid version.

    Link location
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 23 Jun 2021

    Pl@ntNet is a tool to help to identify plants with pictures. It is organized in different databases, currently Flora of Western Europe - 6409 species - 226300 images; Flora of Indian ocean - 1147 species - 62106 images; and Flora of South America (French Guyana) - 938 species - 43097 images. You can browse, identify or contribute photos.

    Download from: iTunes Store or Google Play
    There is also a web version.

    Link location
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 14 Feb 2016

    Virginia Tech Tree Identification app contains fact sheets for 969 woody plants from all over North America with an in depth description, range map and thousands of color images of leaves, flowers, fruit, twigs, bark and form.
    Users can narrow the species list for any location in North America using the phone's GPS, network signal or any entered address or zip code. Basically the application can become “Woody Plants of Where You Are Standing”.

    Download from: iTunes Store or Google Play

    Link location
    Submitted by Labreapits
    Submitted date 4 Aug 2016

    Washington Wildflowers

    University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum, the authors of WILDFLOWERS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, and High Country Apps have partnered to produce the new WASHINGTON WILDFLOWERS plant identification app for mobile devices. The app provides images, species descriptions, range maps, bloom period, and technical descriptions for 870 common wildflowers, shrubs, and vines found in Washington and adjacent areas of British Columbia, Idaho, and Oregon.

    High Country Apps also has apps for Colorado Wildflowers, Glacier Wildflowers, Idaho Wildflowers, Montana Grasses, Oregon Wildflowers, Flora of the Wasatch, Flora of Texas: Fort Worth Prairie, Washington Wildflowers, Flora of Yellowstone, Yosemite Wildflowers, and Yellowstone Outdoors.

    Download from: iTunes Store; Google Play Store

    Link location High Country Apps
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 3 Nov 2015

    Wildflower Search
    These plant finders cover not only wildflowers but all types of plants including trees, shrubs, grasses, and more, and they are now available for most states and some Canadian provinces. They use the WildflowerSearch database. The Apps are self contained and do not use the internet. A few Apps are more than 100MB in size and require WiFi for installation.

    Download from: Apps are by state or province, and links for Google Play Store or iTunes Store are provided at Free WildflowerSearch Apps.

    This project is sponsored by Wildflower Search, an Oregon not-for-profit corporation.

    Link location Wildflower Search
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 09 May 2016; last confirmed 09 May 2016

Recent Reviews

  1. chaenomeles
    Many helpful resources.