It sounded too good to be true. Take a photo of a plant with your smartphone and it will tell you exactly what the plant is. So, when we heard about this new “app” we had to try it.
Plant Snapp (www.plantsnapp.com) is available for Apple iPhone and iPad (only). It is a free download from the Apple Store. Ours came with a free trial but the cost is basically 50p per snap.
Hardy planters being what they are, we already knew what the plant was - of course - but we took the picture and off it went. It turns out that Plant Snapp’s database only has 6000 entries (the RHS Plant Finder book has 75000 entries) so we waited until their “expert” looked at the photo. About two hours later, we got our reply:
The genus was wrong! (although the plants did look similar).
The species was missing (and we thought that this might cause confusion for very new gardeners)
A variety was given (although obviously wrong as they had misidentified the plant)
Advice given was contradictory. The hardiness rating given under “Hardiness” was different to the hardiness given in the description of the plant.
(It said “Hardiness - Hardy” but the description called it a tender plant).
We did not try following the link to buy the identified plant from their nursery.
It seems to us that this is more of a gimmick to sell plants than a serious application. With just a photograph to go on and no other information, such as size or location, it would be almost impossible for anybody or any computer program to accurately identify every plant.
5th September 2014