I’m Loving the “Picture This” App on my iPhone

Taking a photo of nature with a phone

The Dame’s Rockets are now giving way to the Multiflora Rose bushes. I love these prickly shrubs so much! Their smell is intoxicating and it fills the air just when I’m starting to mourn the fading of my beloved Dame’s Rockets.

I can smell them even before I can see them. Around here they are considered a noxious weed, so dense that neither deer nor dogs can get through them. They’re like barbed wire.

Here’s what they look like on the bike trail now. This is up close:

Rosa Multiflora

Here they are from a distance:

Rosa Multiflora at a distance

I’ve been deliberately slowing down on my walks with the dogs just so I can sniff them, take them in, and photograph them before their transient beauty (and smell!) fades.

They are so ubiquitous around here, that I’ve always just referred to them as “the wild roses.” 

But the other day I took out my phone and opened the Picture This app so I could get the proper ID for them: rosa multiflora.

I use the Picture This app on my phone all the time and I really like it. I’ve tried other plant ID apps like PlantNet and Blossom, but they’re not as easy to use, nor as robust as Picture This.

I just take a picture in the app and it identifies plants, trees, tree rings, insects, birds, and even mushrooms. It will also diagnose problems with your house plants. You can take a picture of your droopy or wilted plant and it tells you what’s the matter. 

When you first open the app it will ask you to subscribe, but you can use it without subscribing and it will still do everything. 

Here are all its features:

  • Light meter
  • Allergen ID
  • Weeds ID
  • Toxic to Pets
  • Tree ID
  • Tree ring ID
  • Insect ID
  • Bird ID (there are better bird ID apps, though)
  • Mushroom ID

With the Premium version ($30/yr) you get the ability to save all your look-ups into “My Plants.”

 I really like this feature, and find it worth the $30 subscription, because from season to season and year to year I often forget the names of the wildflowers I see, and I like that I don’t have to resort to my old field guides, but instead, just open the app and reacquaint myself with old favorites.

It also has lots of timely articles and videos, like “How to Maintain Your Garden Tools: Cleaning, Sharpening, and Oiling.”

It’s really well-done and I highly recommend it for anyone who hikes or gardens and often wonders: What’s that?? about things in the natural world.

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