Authors Barry and Judy Breckling and High Country Apps have partnered to produce the new Yosemite Wildflowers plant identification app for mobile devices. The app provides images and descriptions for more than 584 flowering plants that grow in Yosemite National Park. The app does not require an Internet connection, so you can use it no matter how remote your wanderings.
The number of species covered and wealth of information included set a new standard for wildflower identification apps. Although the app is designed to help amateur plant enthusiasts identify wildflowers, more experienced botanists will also value the app for its extensive content. Users can browse the species list by common or scientific name (and by family name ) to locate a plant and access photos and related information. However, most users will rely on the easy-to-use search key to identify plants of interest.
The key consists of thirteen categories: type of plant (wildflower, shrub, or tree), petal color, flower shape, number of petals, leaf arrangement, leaf type, leaf shape, leaf margin, texture, size, habitat, vegetation zone, and flowering month. You can select characteristics in as many or as few categories as you want. As you make selections, the number of matching species is displayed at the top of the page. At any point, you can click the Show button to access a set of thumbnail images and names of plants that are potential matches. You can scroll through the species in the list and tap a thumbnail image to access photos, descriptions, and additional information for the selected species.
Yosemite Wildflowers includes detailed instructions for using the app. It also has an extensive glossary of botanical terms; labeled diagrams of leaves, flowers, and inflorescences; and a description of each family represented in the app. You can tap a family name to access a set of images and names for all species in the app that belong to the selected family.
Yosemite National Park and its adjacent areas are home to diverse landscapes that contain a wealth of flowering plants. Yosemite Wildflowers will appeal to individuals of all ages who travel to such areas and are interested in learning the names and natural history of the plants that they encounter. Yosemite Wildflowers is also a valuable educational tool for learning more about plant communities, botanical terms, and how to identify plants in general.
Updated for iOS 12+.
Ratings and Reviews
Fantastic app! I use it on my iPod (no cellular needed). So far it's been useful in the Tahoe Sierra, gold country foothills/American River area, and the Sutter Buttes. The keying-out by characteristics works great. No need to select every characteristic. More than one choice per characteristic will often work when it's not clear (e.g. pink or purple flower? The leaf shape?) . Note the dwindling number of ID possibilities as you choose characteristics, and when you get down to one or a few species, look at the excellent photos and line drawings to confirm what you've found. Another approach to ID is to type what you guess might be the common name or family in the search box and look at what pops up. Interesting tidbits about traditional uses, etc. are fun to read. This app has mostly replaced my having to carry field guide books and my pack is lighter. There have been just a few times when the guide let me down, but like I said, I haven't been using it in Yosemite. Totally worthwhile purchase! I wish there were a way to bookmark plants I've previously identified (or even to mark locations by GPS, if one had that capability), but those are just suggestions for future versions.
Best wildflower app!
I'm not a real botanist but I do have some training in plant taxonomy and I'm a bit of a fanatic about photographing and identifying native wildflowers. I have six other wildflower apps, so I've seen a lot of the good and the bad, and this Yosemite wildflower app just blows the rest of them away completely. I really wish These authors could take over the other California wildflower apps and do them up right for us - I'd be in heaven if I had access to this good of a guide for the wildflowers of the California deserts, the central coast, or the northwestern part of the state.
A superb guide.
I am no great expert on wildflowers and this will be a useful and stunning guide to allow me to appreciate the beauty that appears every spring. I know that any guide put together by Barry Breckling must be second to none!
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.