How to Identify Flowers & Plants with iPhone

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Did you know your iPhone has a built-in ability to identify many common flowers, plants, and objects?

Thanks to Siri Knowledge, your iPhone camera can easily identify a surprising amount of plants, flowers, items, and other objects that you point the camera to and snap a picture of, but most people don’t know about this hidden feature.

Grab your iPhone, go find a flower or plant somewhere, and let’s walk through how this cool feature works.

How to Identify Plants, Flowers, and Objects with iPhone Camera

The iPhone’s built in Siri Knowledge feature lets you identify plants and flowers and it works pretty well, here’s how to use this great feature:

  1. Open the iPhone Camera and take a picture as usual, say of a flower (in this example a photo was taken of a dandelion)
  2. Go to the Photos app and find the photo you just snapped of the flower or object
  3. Tap on the (i) button with a sparkle on it

4. Choose “Look Up – Plant”

5. Siri Knowledge will bring up several options with information about the identified plant or object, usually from Wikipedia, tap on that to get more info

6. Learn about the plant, flower, or object, and repeat with more pictures of more things as you want

The detection algorithm is pretty good and in testing I was able to accurately identify many common plants and trees. A few more obscure flowers were not successful, but like many things I’m sure that will improve over time too as more data is processed and inputted on the back-end of the image detection and object recognition machine learning engine.

For flowers and plants that are not identified by Siri Knowledge that’s built into your iPhone, you can always use other apps. In fact, there are many third party apps that aim to identify flowers, mushrooms, plants, leaves, etc, and some of those work much better than Siri Knowledge that is built into iPhone. Some are free to download and use, while other third party detections apps are plastered with annoying ads or have wildly high subscription fees that are just outright goofy considering what you’re using the app for. There are also some apps like PictureThis that work quite well for free, but constantly try to upsell you into a paid plan, but if you discard the upsell notices you’ll find work just fine on it’s own as the free version.

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