NOTE: If you now are using one of the comprehensive ‘Pro’ Android apps, even if you have used our wildflower apps in the past, please READ THIS PARAGRAPH:
The comprehensive apps with all vascular plants of a state/province or region require a subtle but important change in how you use of the key.
- In keying flowering non-grass-like plants or conifers, you must mark at least one attribute before using the eyeball icon (or brain icon).
- In keying spore-bearing plants or grass-like plants, you must identify the plant family before using the eyeball icon.
Opening the app, the top of the screen shows the title, 2 tabs for Browse and Key, and 3 active icons. The first icon lets you search for plant species in the Browse window. The second icon changes the Browse plant list between being sorted by common names, or by scientific genus-species names, or by family. The third icon is for a menu of information about the app.
BROWSE: Use Browse to look up images and information about each plant.
- The tab above Browse gives the number of flower species shown. The number of plants listed in Browse decreases as species are eliminated during keying.
- You may scroll up and down the list of species.
- Tap on any of the species to open it in a description window.
- The Description Window always opens with images.
- Tap any thumbnail for the full image, then tap it to expand the photo and swipe between photos.
- In the gray bar above the Description Window, tap the word “Images” and a drop-down menu allows you to call up descriptive text about the plant, a list of all the attribute data for the plant, and a list of references with more information.
- The attributes data is helpful when you are down to a few species in keying. Attributes shown in white are true for the species you are looking at and some, but not all, of the other remaining species. Attributes shown in blue occur in all of the remaining species. Attributes shown in green are true for only the species shown and for none of the remaining species.
KEY: The Key tab accesses the interactive key for identifying an unknown plant.
- The Key displays menus in a hierarchical order where the user can select attributes that are true for an unknown plant.
- Select menus in any order.
- Stick to menus that are easy and clearly understood. There are several easy attribute menus under the General menu.
- A tap on a menu icon opens the menu; long-touching a menu icon gives definitions and and drawings to help understand it.
- A tap on an attribute in a menu marks that attribute and usually reduces the number of remaining species.
- Tapping it again clears the mark.
Note: At first the key has three icons above it.
- The first icon, an Eye, shows a list of the easiest and most effective menus, based on the remaining species. Menus at the top of the list are easier and more effective than those further down on the list. You may select any of these menus to mark in, or back up and go to a different one. To reset or select a different menu tap the eye icon twice.
- The second icon, a Brain, selects and opens the “best” menu for you; you may use it or tap the icon again for the next best menu, or tap the Eye for a list of more menus.
After you have marked your first attribute, two more icons appear at the top.
- The first icon looks like two check marks; tapping it calls up a list of all the marks you have made so far.
- The second icon is a trash can; it removes all your marks, resets the key to start over, and restores all species in Browse list.
There is a gray toolbar at the bottom of the key.
- The first tool at the left is a colored +, /, or -. Tap it and a menu pops up to allow you to change what kind of mark to make on the attributes.
YES > Marking an attribute as YES leaves a blue “+” mark and eliminates all species that never have that characteristic
- The number shown to the right of an attribute is the number of species that will remain when the attribute is marked YES.
NO. > Marking an attribute as NO leaves a red “-“mark and eliminates all species that have that attribute, even if the plant you are identifying may sometimes have that attribute (use this mark with caution!). Using No is best avoided, and not needed to key out a plant.
- The number shown to the right of the attribute is the number of species that will be removed when the attribute is marked NO.
OR > Marking an attribute as OR makes a green “/” mark and eliminates all species that never have that attribute.
- For the first OR mark in an attribute menu, the number shown to the right of the attribute is the number of species that will remain when the attribute is marked.
- Making 2 or more OR marks in the same attribute menu says any one of those attributes may be true for the plant being identified.
If the attributes you have entered reduce the remaining plants to a small number, and your unidentified plant is not among them, there are three possible reasons:
- The plant is not in the database. Although this is the most comprehensive wildflower identification reference produced so far for North America, there are still some plants that are not included.
- There is an error in the data. This is possible; if any errors are discovered please contact us at email@example.com. We will be very grateful.
- You entered an incorrect mark. Select the check-marks icon to review the marks you have made. If you can not determine where you may have made an error, nor detect a possible error in the data, setting the Forgiveness Feature to “On” will allow ANY one incorrectly marked attribute to be ignored. This will increase the number of remaining species, but will not eliminate a species due to a single incorrectly marked attribute or error in the data.
Many scientific plant names have been changed in recent years. If you are searching for a plant by scientific name and cannot find it in Browse, in the Key go to the Genus name or Family name menus and select the genus or family name you are searching for. This will reduce the Browse list to all plants which have ever been included in that genus or family. Note that scientific name synonyms are included in the text information in the Description Window.