About This App
Comments and questions should be directed to Steve Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While enjoying time at Paradise on Mt. Rainier I wanted to identify some wildflowers. Paradise Inn is without WiFi service and I was not able to access my favorite Wildflower Identification Program, WildflowerSearch.com. This App addresses this problem. Basically, this is my personal App. It is free and you can use it. Hopefully, you will find it to be helpful.
What Does This App Do?
This App is a plant finder. When you give the App information about a plant such as the location, the flower color and the time of year, the App will show you images of plants that are likely to be the plant you are looking for. The App includes over 3,000 species of plants that can be found in Oregon and Washington. (The App does not include any sub-species.) This breaks down to around 2,967 species in Oregon and 2,709 species in Washington. Over 2,000 are "Wildflowers", about 250 are shrubs, 125 are trees, 18 are vines, 5 are cactus, over 100 are aquatic plants, about 200 are grasses and sedges, about 75 are ferns, about 160 are lichen and about 60 are moss.
What This App Does Not Do
This App does not contain plant descriptions. This App works well with a plant guide such as "Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast" by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon (about $16 from Amazon). This App will help you locate likely plants quickly. If you want to investigate further, you can use the descriptions in the plant guide.
When starting the App you can select Oregon or Washington Wildflowers. Doing this brings you to the search menu. At this point it helps to specify some search criteria. Otherwise, you will be given a very long list of plants and it may take a while to find the one you are searching for. At any point you can see a list of photos of the plants most likely to be the plant you are searching for. You can view more information about any of these plant and you can add the plant to your daily plant list making it easy to review the plants you found on any day.
Here are a few words about each class of search:
Plant Category -- The plants are divided into 11 categories. The Wildflower category includes herbs and some plants that have hard-to-find fowers. The Vine category includes woody vines such as grapes. The Acquatic category includes many plants from other categories that live in water at least part of the time. The Grass category also includes sedges, cattails and other grass-like plants. The Fern category also includes horsetails and a few other fern-like plants.
Flower Color -- Colors can are tricky. Select the color that seems best. Do not select a color for a plant without an obvious flower (such as lichen).
Flower Shape -- For flowers like a violet or strawberry, count the petals. When there are lots of petals, like a dandelion, select Many Petals. For orchids and other irregular flowers use the Irregular category. For a plant like Queen Ann's Lace where ther are many, very small flowers, you can use a magnifing glass to count the petals. When there are no obvious petals use the No Petals selection.
Leaf Arrangement -- This refers to the way the leaves attach to the stem. Most often each leaf is attached by itself so use the Alternate selection. When leaves are attached in pairs, use the Opposite selection. Sometimes three or more leaves attach in a whorl so use the Whorled selection. When the leaves attach at the very bottom of the stem or under ground, use the Basal selection. Leaf arrangement can be tricky. When there are compound leaves where leaflets connect to a stem the leaf arrangement refers to how the compound leaves attach to the main stem, not how the leaflets connect to the leaf stem.
Elevation -- This is the elevation where you found the plant. Generally, all you need to enter is a good guess at the elevation. Use 500 feet when you are near sea level.
Observation Month -- This is the month when you observed the plant. Often, this is when the plant is flowering. But not always, if the plant is recognizable for some other reason.
Location -- Select the location where you found the plant.
About the Author: Steve SullivanI am a native Oregonian. I obtained a BS degree in Math from Oregon State University before there was a computer science degree. At Oregon State I programmed a vaccume tube computer in machine language. I worked for Tektronix for 35 years as a programmer, circuit board designer and an integrated circuit designer. After retiring I developed the WildflowerSearch.com website to help people identify plants and wildflowers. I programmed this App so that I could access the WildflowerSearch database at places where there is no internet connection.