Garden Answers is the revolutionary plant identification app that instantly identifies over 20,000 plants and gives you accurate and detailed information about it
Price: free with in app purchases (Android €2.19 – iOS $1.99)
Runs offline: no
Last update: Android 13/04/2017 (v. 1.3.22) – iOS 11/04/2017 (v. 1.3.22)
Website of the developer: Garden Answers
This application can help you recognize plant species thanks to an image-based identification system. It is only necessary to upload a photo from the mobile device and the app will return a list of possible matches.
The app has 4 options:
- Take a photo of your plant, an option to recognize the species uploading pictures of plants. The images can be obtained with the camera of the mobile or tablet (try to take a close photograph of a distinguishable part, e.g., a flower or a leaf) or uploading a photo already stored. The application will return a list of species with matching characteristics. Find the species that most resembles the image you have uploaded and consult the additional information by clicking on the information symbol of each photograph. Finally, validate the images through the Match? option you’ll see on screen.
- Ask a horticulturist, tab through which, after verifying an email account, you can send images to an expert who will also answer you via email. The response time is approximately 24 hours and is a payment service ($1.99 per question). If the team of experts can not identify the species, you can reformulate your query by providing more images or details without additional cost. Likewise, it is also possible that there is no availability of experts for a particular region of the planet, or that your query could also be referred to a university or research center that can help you with the identification.
- My answers, section in which you store the species you have marked as favorites and the questions that have been answered by the experts. It also requires checking an email account.
The application also has a search system by name in which you can enter, for example, the name of a disease or pest to know the most appropriate treatment.
Images: screenshots 08/08/2017. ©Garden Answers
Curiosity is inherent to the human being and this peculiarity also includes being able to identify the elements of the environment that surrounds us, such as plants or animals, either by attraction, restlessness or mere interest. Thus, in the last years species identification guides have found support in mobile applications that put the possibility of recognizing species in situ.
Garden Answers is an example of app of these characteristics that combines image recognition and expert support for the identification of species. In the tests carried out in the context of this analysis with the genera Geranium, Rosa and Crassula, the results have been mixed. In the cases Geranium and Rosa, the identification was erroneous when trying to recognize the leaves, raising the degree of coincidence when photographing the flowers. In the case of the Crassula specimen, however, the application has made possible to verify that the initial identification was erroneous, having concluded that the plant is in reality a Portulacaria, a species very similar to Crassula. The human recognition system has not been tested, although regarding other tools that offer similar functionality (e.g., Flowerchecker), the price for each query is estimated to be slightly high. Regarding the information offered about diseases and pests, it is considered a little scarce. You have to describe the problem clearly (remember to do so in English) in order to obtain a more or less optimal result.