An interactive app to identify plants? Maybe!

One of the things I like most about gardening is finding the unusual when I least expect it!  How did it get here? Why my yard and not the one next door?  Being naturally curious, I enjoy the detective work behind these questions almost as much as the moment of discovery!  When I don’t know what “it” is, and googling “short green/brown stemmed plant with white rectangular flower” returns  313,000 responses…well, what then?  Is there a more precise resource out there for people like me?

If (when!!) the new iBoPlanet app gets enough Kickstarter funding,  there will be!

iBoPlanet is an open source technology created by Steve Bowen, an energy consultant with eco-awareness. In his own words, “we know very little…but what if we knew just a little bit more?”  Enter iBoPlanet and its extensive databases, including those from University Botanical Departments, the World Agroforestry Centre, KEW Gardens. and the USDA.   The process works by comparing leaf pictures (taken by smartphones) against the databases listed above to identify not only the name and species of the plant, but pertinent nutritional/environmental details, as well!  iBoPlanet also has an interactive element that allows users to mark a plant’s location via GPS, with the goal of sharing videos, pictures and stories of the experience.

For more information regarding the science behind the project, I strongly recommend checking out Steve’s wordpress blog, NoLeaflessLand as well as reading this interview.   I think you’ll be very impressed!  (And in the interest of full disclosure, today I put my money where my mouth is–so to speak–and became a “backer!”)

Shifting gears….

😛 Let’s get back to the plants I CAN identify!  😛

From late February through mid March, the air along the Treasure Coast is redolent with the sweet fragrance of citrus blossoms:

Citrus Blossoms

The bees were working overtime when I snapped this today; for all their efforts, I’d hate to let them down!  I’ve got a plan in motion to save this tree from serious decline and you can read about it here!

In contrast, the Ludwegia Peruviana in the cutting garden (immediately opposite the tree) couldn’t look better:

Ludwegia Peruviana

And remember the watermelon seeds we planted in the newly ‘scaped rubber tree bed:

Moon and Stars Watermelon Vines

Looking mighty fine right now 😀 but technically this SHOULDN’T work!  If these vines can prosper (while competing with a rubber tree for water and nutrients,) it may be one for the books!    Oh!  and see those little red berries?  This whole shebang is five feet from a Brazilian Pepper Tree 😯 and you know what a disaster that is! DEFINITELY shouldn’t work!  😯

This last photo is of an “oddity”  which arrived in a bag of 5 bulbs marked “Lily Scarlet Delight,” from

Not Lily Scarlet Delight

iBoPlanet...Help..Who am I??

😮  With this, it seems we’ve come full circle!!!  Perhaps in the future, iBoPlanet could solve the mystery of the mistaken bulb, but for now I’ll be waiting ’til the flowers open and figuring it out myself!  😉

Until next time…..

10 thoughts on “An interactive app to identify plants? Maybe!

  1. Your plants and photos are so vibrant. The iBoPlanet sounds like an interesting and helpful place. Thanks for the link, I’ll be checking it out real soon.

    Lilies are so lovely, it’ll be fun to see what color that one is. I look forward to seeing a photo and an update. 🙂

    I hope you don’t mind my saying, but the yellow spots on your watermelon vine looks to me like it has ‘Downy mildew’. There’s different ways to cure it using natural methods or with fungicides.
    You may want to do a bit of research online and see if you think it needs treatment or not.
    There’s a few varieties of squash plants that have natural markings that look like mildew, so I could be wrong, it could be the natural markings for the variety of watermelon you planted. 😉

    • Thank you for noticing!! I definitely want people to point out anything wonky…we learn from each other’s experiences! In this case , no cause for alarm; Here’s a picture of the watermelon variety (Moon and Stars) straight from the company’s website, Terroir Seeds/Underwood Gardens moon and stars (citrullus lanatus)

      • Thanks so much for posting the photo. I never knew this variety existed.
        Thanks for not being annoyed with me. I’m like you, I appreciate it when folks pointing things out. It’s like having an extra eye in the garden and I need all the help I can get.
        I can hardly wait to see your watermelons maturing on the vine. What a sweet treat they’ll be. 🙂

        If you don’t mind, I’m going to reblog this post on my ‘Squash & Other Foods Gardening blog’… If I can figure out how to reblog. 😉
        If you don’t want me to reblog it, let me know.

  2. Reblogged this on Squash & Other Foods and commented:
    This post has a lot of helpful info on it and also in the comments. We discuss the yellow spots on her watermelon vine that looks like ‘downey mildew’
    The spots are normal for that variety of watermelon called Moon and Stars.
    Thanks Smallhousebiggarden 🙂

    • Thanks for letting me reblog this. I really appreciate it.
      Reblogging is similar to ‘retweeting’ I just hit the reblog option in the top tool bar and chose my gardening blog. I’m so glad it was easier than I thought. Cool!
      Thanks again! 🙂

  3. I agree with you about the identifying compulsion! I love knowing what I’ve just photographed and love the thrill of the (re)search as I Google ’til the cows come home. Why, just yesterday I ID’d a fancy looking weed and a never-before-seen red admiral butterfly. It’s fun!

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