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ISU Idaho Museum of Natural History’s Ray J. Davis Herbarium and Burke Museum Herbarium launch new wildflower app

December 22, 2014
ISU Marketing and Communications

The University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum has partnered with Idaho State University’s Ray J. Davis Herbarium, the University of Idaho’s Stillinger Herbarium, Mark Turner, and High Country Apps to produce Idaho Wildflowers, a plant identification app for smart phones and tablets.

The app provides images, species descriptions, range maps, bloom period, and technical descriptions for more than 805 common wildflowers, shrubs, and vines that occur in Idaho and adjacent areas of Montana, Washington, Utah, and Oregon.

Designed for both budding wildflower enthusiasts and experienced experts, Idaho Wildflowers will appeal to individuals who travel to wildflower areas and are interested in knowing the names and natural history of the plants that they encounter. Idaho and its adjacent areas are home to diverse landscapes containing a wealth of wildflowers, shrubs, and vines. Idaho Wildflowers is also a great educational tool for learning more about plant communities, botanical terms, and how to identify plants in general.

The majority of species included are native, but introduced species common to the region are covered as well in order to expand the usefulness of this resource. Once downloaded, the app does not need an internet or network connection to run so you can use it no matter how remote your wanderings take you.

The Idaho Wildflowers app that covers 805 plants is now available at Amazon, Apple, and Google app stores for $7.99. A portion of revenues from the app supports conservation and botanical exploration in the region.

The number of species covered and wealth of information included sets a new standard for wildflower identification apps. Users can browse the species list by common or scientific name, or by family, to locate a plant and access the related information. However, most users will likely use the identification key that is the core of the app to identify a plant of interest.

The key’s user-friendly interface is broken down into ten simple categories: growth habit (e.g., wildflower, shrub, vine), flower color, flower shape, month of year, geographic region, habitat, leaf arrangement, leaf type, duration (annual, biennial, perennial), and origin (native or introduced).

Idaho Wildflowers includes supporting documents with extensive information on the ecoregions of Idaho. Users will also find an extensive glossary of botanical terms, along with labeled diagrams. Finally, detailed descriptions can be found for each family contained in Idaho Wildflowers. Tapping on a family name brings up a list of images and names for all species in the app belonging to that family.


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