Do you how to identify the plants on your land? Have you ever used a plant id app?
When we first bought our little homestead I was super excited to get started identifying all the wild plants and trees on our 2 acres.
We moved from Texas to Missouri and I had zero clue about the local vegetation here. I didn’t know what flowers to expect in the spring, what fruits grew the best here, or what seeds to plant in my garden!
So why is it important to identify the plants on your homestead or in your backyard?
Why you should identify a plant
You might not know this but many plants on your land that most people consider weeds may be even more beneficial for you than the carefully curated fruit you buy at your local grocery store!
Is your lawn swamped with dandelion?? Many a homeowner carefully and obsessively sprays, digs, and burns these plants! In their minds there is no good than come from these yellow headed flowers scattered all over their precious green lawn!
And heaven forbid if they go to seed!!!
But homesteaders and natural remedies experts know better, in fact, they go foraging for it! Dandelion greens are fried, turned into fritters, the roots are dug, dried, and grown for a coffee substitute, or the flowers are turned into a herbal salve that is good for eczema!
You may also discovered other unusual edible fruit or berries. So far I’ve learned that we have wild grape, mulberries, and wild raspberry on our land!
Another popular green that I learned about in Arkansas is poke, a wild green picked when it is young and preserved. Careful though I was warned that the mature plants are deadly!
However, my cousin informed me that her chickens love to eat the berries off her mature poke plants! What a useful plant providing nutritious food for humans and animals!
But how exactly do you go about identifying a plant? Here are two ways that were extremely useful to me!
How to identify a plant
Do you know that your local department of natural resources have staff that come out and help you with plant identification and tree health?
Last week, a local DNR guy came out to our property to help us identify how healthy our trees were and what trees need to be cut down or pruned so they weren’t a danger to our house and outbuildings.
He asked me to walk the property with him. I wasn’t too happy about the suggestion because it was dark and dreary outside. We had just gotten excessive amount of rain and rainboots were a must as we tromped all over the yard. Water was standing several inches deep in certain places!
However, I was sooo glad I went with him! Besides identifying our trees and our trees’ health for us, he took the time to help me id the plants in my flower bed and on our fenceline.
I told him that I was waiting to pull the weeds in my flowerbed until I could positively identify whether the plants were true weeds or something I could forage.
Use a local expert from the Department of Natural Resources.
He was able to identify hackberry, poke, elm, oak, mulberry, wild grape, wild cherry in my flowerbed and fenceline. The DNR guy also told me that the local DNR office provided FREE local trees of various varieties that anyone could pick up and plant on their land.
If you are able to have a local DNR officer come out and help you with plant identification this is truly the BEST way I recommend! Better than any plant id app and completely worth your time!
However, your area might not have easy access to a department of natural resources. Also, I’m not sure if an officer would come simply to identify plants on your land. Remember our DNR guy came because we were concerned about the safety of the trees, rotten limbs can destroy a roof and be deadly!
A plant identification app is still a very good option!
The best plant identification apps
I still had many questions on various plants that were in my large flowerbed! Where the remaining ones we didn’t identify weeds?
I was eager to find out. I had no idea plant id apps existed by the way until I began googling. It was thrilling to see that there was other plantlife enthusiasts besides me, so much so that there are multiple apps for plant identification.
Of course, I wanted to be able to identify the plants by photo as this is the easiest way. To find plant identifier apps, simple type in plant id app or plant identification app into your phone’s playstore.
It would be impossible to list all the plant snap apps I found, but here are some of the top ranking ones:
- PlantSnap-Identify Plants, Flowers, Trees, & More
- PictureThis-Flower & Plant Identification
- PlantNet Plant Identification
- Garden Tags-Plants & gardens
- FlowerChecker+, plant identify
- Flora Incognita-automated plant identification
- PlantSnap Pro
- Virginia Tech Tree ID
- Florida Wildflowers
- LeafSpot-Plant Identification
If you have been paying close attention you will notice that not only are there general plant identification apps but there are some specific flower id apps and even more specific apps for certain states!
How cool is that! So you may want to check if there is an app created specifically for your area first! I ended up using PlantNet and was really happy with it.
You can create a profile for yourself. Then you simply snap a pic of your plant and do a search for it! There are various categories on which to search including flower varieties or you simply take a picture of a leaf and try identifying that way.
The app will generate search results from other users and if you don’t find a close match, you can add multiple shots or angles of the plant for more accurate results.
What I really love about this plant app is that it provides the official Latin name of the plant, the species, and family, what plant is commonly called, etc. This way you can easily google it and find out a ton of useful information on EXACTLY the plant you are looking at.
I hope you have enjoyed learning and reading on how to identify the plants in your homestead or backyard!
My plant id app is currently stocked full of pictures of my plants here at home. It’s an exhilerating and addictive process!
Have you used a plant id app before? What is your favorite? Comment below and let me know!!!
Cheers, Mrs. G
Don’t forget to check out these other resources!
Best Plant Id Apps (How to Identify Plants on the Homestead)