5 Best Plant Identification Apps [2020 Edition]

Identifying plants correctly can quickly become a challenge without expert knowledge. With the right plant app, all you need to do is take photos and you will know which plant you have in front of you. In today’s post we reveal the 5 best plant identification apps in 2020.

[Pic credit: Pascal Thiele / Utopia]

1. [email protected]: The best plant identification app

We were particularly impressed by the [email protected] app in the test. With this free tool for Android and iOS you can identify plants particularly easily and accurately.

The advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

+ completely free and without advertising
+ covers over 4,000 wild plants
+ detection process very reliable, if the plant is in the database
+ for detailed information the appropriate Wikipedia entry can be displayed – ornamental plants cannot be determined

plantnet plant identification app
After you take a picture, select the part of the plant
plantnet plant identification app
The app will suggest some possible results for you to confirm
plantnet plant identification app
You can also browse through all the plants in Plantnet’s database. All photos are user-submitted

2. PictureThis: Alternative plant identification app

We like the successful alternative app PictureThis above all because of its appealing interface and the useful map function. However, the tool is not as accurate.

The advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

+ Basic version free
+ According to the provider identifies more than 10,000 plant species with an accuracy of 98 percent
+ Detects and diagnoses (automatically) diseases
+ Provides detailed information and care tips
+ Help from garden coaches (only with premium subscription)
+ Expensive and confusing subscription mechanism for the premium version (from $4.99/month)

In PictureThis, you can diagnose plant problems, identify plants, and view gallery of user-submitted photos
Easily diagnose your plant’s health problems with PictureThis
Interesting Time-lapse and Wallpapers collection in PictureThis

3. PlantSnap: Best succulent identification app

PlantSnap uses an enormously extensive database that also covers plant species that many other recognition apps do not have in their repertoire – such as mushrooms or succulents. When it comes to the masses, however, there is also a lack of hit quality. As a rule, there are several suggestions from which you have to choose the right plant yourself. For this purpose, the app is useful worldwide and therefore ideal for nature-connected globetrotters.

The advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

+ Basic version free – Pro version for $19.99 (Android) or $14.99 (iOS) available
+ Covers over 500,000 plant species
+ Can be used worldwide
+ Offers an Amazon direct link to the purchase of the found plant


4. Flora Incognita: Easy identification of plants

Flora Incognita is a joint project of the TU Ilmenau and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena. AI-supported and semi-automatic image recognition focuses mainly on the Central European, wild-growing flora.

The advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

+ Completely free and without advertising
+ Covers more than 4,800 plant species
+ Recognition process very reliable, if the plant is in the database
+ Detailed plant cover for each plant species plus link to Wikipedia
+ Very useful detailed information on appearance, toxins, protection status and flowering period (categorization necessary before each search, but also makes the app more precise)
+ Ornamental and house plants are only supported to a limited extent


5. iNaturalist: Largest database for plants

The iNaturalist app can determine plants as well as insects. Visitors to the botanical garden are encouraged to photograph insects in the garden. On this data basis, the researchers see which insects live in the botanical garden. iNaturalist offers another advantage: you can also use the app the other way around. If you’re in a certain place, the app tells you what other users have already found here for plants and insects.

Real nature specialists are at work at iNaturalist. The app was jointly developed by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. And those who participate in the app community also contribute to the research of nature: Finds are shared with scientific data collections such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. So far, well over 36 million observations have been made in this way!

The advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

+ Over 1.3 million (hobby) naturalists and scientists are part of the app’s community and help you determine your finds
+ Huge database of plants
+ Can be used worldwide


Conclusion: The 5 best plant identification apps

Not every plant lover is also equipped with extensive botanical knowledge. How good it is that there are now numerous apps that help with plant determination. Simply take a photo with the smartphone camera or filter through the app’s database on your phone – you already know what’s blooming along the way.

Many of the applications also score with additional features. They offer extensive information about the different plants, point out possible mix-up plants or explain to you what the naturalistic use of the green is – to name just a few examples.

Identify plants easily with the smartphone [Pic credit: Pascal Thiele / Utopia]

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