Cell Phone Apps To Identify Plants and Weeds

Q: What is the best app to identify plants and especially weeds?

A: There are several available and I have five of them on my iPhone. I have
tried out PlantNet, PlantSnap, IWSearch-Pro, PictureThis, and Google Lens.

One afternoon I wandered around my landscape taking pictures of various
weeds and flowers as well as tree leaves. I submitted my photos to each of the
apps and tallied the results. A couple have a clunky iPhone interface that
makes them difficult to use. A couple more weren’t up to the job of identifying
plants accurately.

My two favorites are PictureThis and Google Lens.

PictureThis is not free: it costs $29 per year. But it was easy to use and mostly
accurate. Google Lens is free, reasonably easy to use, and about as accurate as
PictureThis. Neither of these two apps was 100% accurate but they were
definitely better than the others. If you are curious about the plants in your
area, I recommend using both of them.

Another good resource is the ‘Plant Identification’ Facebook group. I have turned to them several times when I
had a mediocre photograph and needed some help. Remember that a clear
picture of a leaf, flower, or fruit is best for accurate identification.

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