How to find out the name of a plant using a smartphone?

In every corner of our world, the flora is diverse and especially unique. Knowing all the plants by heart is beyond the power of even experienced naturalists, but, fortunately, we have mobile applications that will suggest the names of most of the flowers around us.

In fact, few of these applications are truly useful and effective. The greatest success in recognizing objects in the photo was achieved by Microsoft's Bing and Google Lens. They are able to recognize not only representatives of the flora, but also household items - food, books, and in the case of Google Lens, even places.

In addition to these two services, there are others that will also help expand knowledge in naturalistics, but we will start with the leaders - Bing and Google Lens.

Microsoft Bing Search

Bing is inferior to Google in its capabilities, so it is rarely used as a main search engine. But she also has a strong point - the exact function of recognizing objects from a photo. The first time you launch the app, you will see a large search button with a camera and a microphone icon next to it.

To use Bing as plant ID from a photo:

  • Click on the camera icon.
  • Aim the lens at the flower or object of interest.
  • Take a picture of him.

After you take a photo, Bing will scan it and return the three closest search results to it, including images similar to yours.

By the way, it is not necessary to launch the camera: for recognition, you can take a finished image from the gallery.

Google Lens

iPhone it comes bundled with Google Photos. In both cases, the functionality is the same, but dedicated Google Lens is more convenient to use.

After launching the application, the entire smartphone screen will turn into a viewfinder for the camera. To find out the name of a plant (or other object) using Google Lens:

  • Tap the screen to take a photo.
  • Google Lens will display the main search result for the recognized object. It will be accompanied by a photo, a text description and similar images.
  • Clicking on the main photo will take you to a Google search page with a description of the plant.
  • ​​

If you use Google photos on the iPhone:

  • Take a snapshot of the smartphone camera.
  • Open it in the Google photo.
  • Press the Google Lens button at the bottom of the screen.
  • In a matter of seconds, the program will determine the name of the plant.

What is better - Bing Search or Google Lens?

Before proceeding with other useful applications, let's talk about which of the two mentioned services is better coping with the desired task.

If you judge only how accurately the application identifies the flora, Google Lens comes out into the leaders. Both applications have not been able to learn the plants in the form of leaves several times, but both successfully recognize flowers, both as common, for example, hydrangea and less well-known like lanthanas.

with petunias and mint problems also did not occur. But Bing managed to learn them through similar photos on the Internet, and not through the algorithms of the application itself.

Google Lens is characterized by the fact that it takes less time to recognize less than that of Bing. In addition, the more often you use Google Lens, the greater contribution to the development of the artificial intelligence of Google. With this application, you can recognize not only the objects of nature, but also copy data from business cards, as well as count calorie dishes by photo.

But superiority Bing over Google Lens is that Microsoft provides more similar images. Thus, if the program incorrectly determines the subject, you will have a chance to find it among similar pictures.

And now consider other applications that will be useful when determining plants in the photo.


The PictureThis application has paid and free features. Simple navigation, convenient tools and accurate search results make it one of the most popular options for plant recognition by photography. In some cases, it copes with the task even better than Bing or Google Lens.


  • Each photo you make using the application is saved in the "My Collection" section in case it will need again.
  • Through PictureThis, you can contact the community of nerds-nerds, put like, comment on photos and share them.
  • The Location Services feature displays the place on the map where you and other users recognized plants. It helps to search in nature the desired samples.

Premium version removes all application restrictions and turns off advertising, but it is not necessary to spend money on it, because you can get a lot from the free service.

Plant Identification ++

This program can be used for free or with premium subscription. Runing it, make a new snapshot or select a photo from the gallery. The application will search for its database and will show possible coincidences.

The accuracy of the results is high. In addition, when you click on one of the options, Plant Identification ++ will redirect you to the appropriate page in Wikipedia.


  • After you photographed the plant using the application, it will be in the "My Collections" section.
  • The subscription opens access to a variety of identification methods.

In essence, this is a very fast and simple tool in order to replenish your luggage knowledge about nature. The application is privately, it will appeal to those who do not have the desire to publicly share their finds. The main disadvantage is that even after subscriptions in the application there is an advertisement, and it is only available for iPhone users.


Natureid allows you to expand knowledge about The world around the world through paid functions or a free trial period of 3 days. If we talk about the full functionality, the Natureid will like the same and experienced naturalists, and easy enthusiasts.

With a successful recognition of the plant in the photo, the application will show its card at which you will see:

  • name.
  • Place in the classification.
  • List of related species.
  • living conditions and data on practical fitness.
  • Additional information is a symbol in culture and use in folklore.

The last section may be the most interesting, as it tells about what this plant meant in the culture of different peoples, in which literary works it was mentioned and what it symbolizes now.

But unfortunately, all this is available only on iOS.

Why find out the names of plants using the application?

First of all, it's just interesting. There are many people in the world who are not indifferent to wildlife. For them, such applications are an endless source of knowledge about the world around them.

An application with the function of recognizing plants and flowers from a photo will keep a curious child busy for a long time, helping to instill in him a respect for nature. And for schoolchildren and students, it can be of great help in carrying out research projects and homework.