Identify Plants Online
May 19, 2004 9:33 PM   Subscribe

You're probably familiar with the online wizard where you answer various questions about a typeface, and it will identify the typeface for you. My question is this: Is there anything similar for plants, specifically flowers?

I take a lot of photos, but the captions are killing me. I'd like to provide something a bit more information than "Another Flower."
posted by oissubke to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
My guess is that it would be too difficult to program given that variances are so great among plants and flowers, especially given that the same flower can have so many different varieties thanks to selective breeding.

That said, the big datasource in the field is the USDA's PLANTS database. There are photos with a lot of common named plants, but nothing that would go from photo to plant name.

I think it'd be great if there was a similar app to identify bugs and birds, two things I often take photos of and wish I could figure out the proper names.
posted by mathowie at 9:54 PM on May 19, 2004

I think what you want is a flower identification "key". A quick google search for "key to flower identification" give several results such as this.
posted by lasm at 9:59 PM on May 19, 2004

Robin's Flower Finder once helped me identify a flower.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:13 PM on May 19, 2004

Most of the branches on Robin's Flower Finder are coming up blank for me.

Flower/plant guides are usually explicitly organized in a way that guides you to identifying it. Similar plants are grouped together, etc.
posted by smackfu at 8:55 AM on May 20, 2004

Here are two on-line flower identifiers, but it's hard to beat the classic dead tree version of the audubon field guide (This is the eastern but you may want the western edition). And for Matt, Bugs and Birds. Really, the ident methods and guides in these things are excellent. Check out the silhouette method used for general typing of insects and spiders and here's wildflowers, see the little pictograms for flower shape and color. (oh... you can't link to a specific page in the amazon-inside-this-book thing, but click the arrow a few times and you'll see what I mean) If you didn't live so far away, I would let you borrow mine.
posted by milovoo at 2:59 PM on May 20, 2004

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