My new iPhone 13 has a great feature for identifying plants. Just take a photo of the plant, hit all the right buttons and voila, it gives you the suggested name or names of the plant. It also gives a few links to try to further learn about and identify the plant as well as suggestions for other plants similar to it for further research.
This is so amazingly cool and has already helped me identify the plants I was seeing as I traveled out west on vacation. Generally, in my own backyard, I’m able to identify the plants. But put me out in another climate or time zone and I can be lost. There are so many roadside plants that I was seeing while on vacation that I wanted to know more about.
It was October in the Arizona and New Mexico areas and I was at a loss for the most part plantwise. So I did a tutorial on my new iPhone 13 and low and behold, there was this feature that I never had before on my older phones. How very useful and a great tool for learning about new plants and new growing habits.
Here’s an example. All along the edges of pathways and roads in New Mexico were these plants in bloom with an overall yellow flower. I couldn’t decide if they were shrubs or herbaceous plants. I took a photo of them and Bingo..there they were. The plants were Gutierrezia sarothrae also known as Broom Snakeweed in the family of Asteraceae. With this information, I was able to spend time after the trip to read more about them. Very cool!
While hiking around Bell & Courthouse Rock in Sedona there were dozens of plants that captured my interest but couldn’t identify. I kept stopping our 5-mile trek in the breezy sunshiny day to take photos of them, all the while keeping an eye on the clock to make sure we were back safely before sunset.
First I’d take a photo on my phone of a plant. The phone would identify that it was a plant by putting a small circle with a leaf over the plant in question. Then I would click in the lower right-hand corner on the blue circle with the letter “I”. The next screen would give me results with links to research further along with images of similar plant images. Oh my! This is such a major step for them to have invented in order to feed my insatiable curiosity. Thank you Apple!
There is always so much to learn, so much to enjoy and explore when it comes to gardening and horticulture. I often feel that I like studying more than I like gardening which can be exhausting and back-breaking work. I can read about plants endlessly without losing interest or running out of topics to explore. Deadheading, planting, transplanting, weeding, mulching, is mostly not as much fun for me. Ah well, it’s a better workout than the gym at times, plus a far greater reward for all that hard work.