Discovering the Wonders of New Mexico’s Plant Kingdom

Have you ever found yourself captivated by the beauty of a plant and wondered about its identity? Fortunately, the digital age has brought us an array of options to help identify plants with ease. We’ve carefully reviewed the top resources available, saving you the trouble of browsing through countless apps.

Unleashing the Power of Plant Identification Apps

iNaturalist: Unlocking the World of Citizen Science

Imagine becoming a citizen scientist with just a few taps on your screen. iNaturalist, a remarkable free application, allows you to do just that. Utilizing your photos, this app provides you with a curated list of possible plant species. What’s impressive is that it goes beyond mere identification. iNaturalist encourages users to contribute to the knowledge base by uploading their data. However, if you prefer to solely focus on identifying plants, skipping this step is always an option. This app stands out among the rest, offering access to an extensive collection of user-created guides, including the remarkable “Plants of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque” guide, showcasing hundreds of plants in the Albuquerque area.

iNaturalist app

Pl@ntNet: A Gateway to the Plant Kingdom

Pl@ntNet, another free app, harnesses the power of location-specific databases to identify plants. By simply uploading a photo, you receive a comprehensive list of potential matches. Although it excels at identifying plant families, it also provides access to the world flora database for precise identification. What sets Pl@ntNet apart is its simplicity, as it does not require any sign-ups or accounts. Additionally, you can choose to capture live photos or select them from your library, making it a convenient tool for on-the-go plant enthusiasts.

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The Best of New Mexico, at Your Fingertips

For those interested in the vibrant flora of New Mexico, the New Mexico Wildflowers app is a true gem. This local field guide offers a staggering collection of over 3,000 native plants. By selecting various criteria such as plant type, flower color, size, leaf arrangement, and habitat, the app provides you with a curated list of plants that meet your specifications. The best part? You can use this app without an internet connection, making it the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures.

Exploring Local Databases and Groups

New Mexico Plant List Database: A Treasure Trove of Information

The New Mexico Plant List Database, brought to you by the Office of the State Engineer, boasts an extensive collection of plants complemented by a user-friendly interface. This valuable resource enables you to explore a wide variety of plant species with ease.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

If you’re seeking a more interactive approach, social media platforms offer an excellent means of crowdsourcing plant identification. Facebook groups dedicated to plant enthusiasts, such as “Native Plants of New Mexico,” “Entomology,” “Plant Identification,” and “Plant Identification and Discussion,” have a wealth of knowledgeable members who are eager to assist. Simply upload photos of the plant along with location details, and the group members will provide their insights.

Expert Tips for Successful Plant Identification

When utilizing any of these tools, ensure that you capture high-quality photos. It’s advisable to have both detailed shots of the foliage and images capturing the entire plant form. This allows for more accurate identification, increasing your chances of discovering the wonders of New Mexico’s plant kingdom.

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Ames Farm Center

As you delve into the world of plant identification, don’t forget the invaluable assistance of local resources such as the Bernalillo County Extension Agents or Extension Master Gardeners. With their expertise, you’ll embark on a journey of discovery like never before.

Author: Marisa Y. Thompson, Ph.D. Extension Horticulture Specialist, Department of Extension Plant Sciences NMSU Desert Blooms blog and Jill Brown, ASLA Landscape Architect and owner of My Landscape Coach in Albuquerque, NM. Resources: Native Plants of New Mexico Facebook Group