Can’t tell your Monkey Face from your Corpse? Here’s help

Lifestyle

Can’t tell your Monkey Face from your Corpse? Here’s help

So many flowers and so little time to identify them all. Luckily there are some apps to give you a hand

Miranda Evans


There are hundreds of thousands of plant and flower varieties, meaning it takes a special kind of knowledge to differentiate your Dracula simia (or Monkey Face Orchid) from your Rafflesia keithii (or Corpse Flower).
Luckily, technology can retain and process databases more comprehensive than any individual could manage. With every plant and flower you’ve ever heard of searchable within seconds, plant identifier apps turn your smartphone from handy to horticulturalist in just a few clicks.
Find yourself wondering what wild wonders are decorating the world around you? Here are the best plant identifying apps available:
PlantSnap
The app makes identifying and buying a doddle. First take a photograph of the plant, then the app will do its best to recognise it. Once recognised, it will give details of name, care information and even where/when it must be planted. Once you’ve found out what your mystery plant is, you can then buy it through the app from one of its nurseries. Available from Android and Apple.
FlowerChecker
The app uses real botanists to identify unknown plants, moss, fungus and even lichen, perhaps making it the most accurate of the apps. Available from the App Store and for Android.
Plantifier
It employs people from mygarden.org to identify unknown plants. Available from the App store and for Android.
Leafsnap
Developed by the University of Maryland, Smithsonian Institute and Columbia University, it identifies tree species from their leaves.  Available from the App store.
iPflanzen
Rather than using photographs to recognise plants/flowers, it requires you to enter criteria such as leaf shape or fruit colour to figure out the mystery. In conjunction with their other apps, iGarten and iForest, extremely detailed and interesting information can easily be found.
Google Lens
Although not directly plant-related, it works via the user taking a photograph, and if the app recognises what is in the picture, it suggests what it may be.
Garden Compass
It not only helps you identify plants, pests and diseases but prompts you with monthly care reminders so you can look after all garden-related needs in one place.
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.