Texas: New App Makes Identifying Plants Easier
The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and High Country Apps have partnered to release a plant identification app for the Fort Worth Prairie Region called Flora of Texas: Fort Worth Prairie Region. The app includes images, technical descriptions, and ethnobotanical and biodiversity information on more than 300 forbs, vines, and grasses that grow in the Fort Worth Prairie and parts of the Western Cross Timbers.
This field guide is designed for amateur botanists, plant and outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone in between. It will appeal to many users who are interested in learning about plants and is a great education tool for teachers and students.
“This app focuses on the Fort Worth Prairie region because it is a unique, often undervalued ecosystem that happens to be home to a very large population of people in the city of Fort Worth,” said Kim Taylor, Research Botanist at BRIT. “We hope to foster an appreciation for the plants and natural beauty of the Fort Worth Prairie to inspire Fort Worth residents to make more environmentally conscientious decisions in their own backyards.”
This is not the first time BRIT has developed an app for the public. Three years ago, BRIT created the Range Plant ID app for agriculture students. While Range Plant ID focused heavily on rangeland grasses, this app includes a wide range of plants and a user-friendly key tool to help identify plants quickly based on common features. This app also includes a glossary, links to information about plant families, and numerous color photographs of live plants.
“Botany is increasingly relevant to decision-making by land-owners and managers as they use plants as indicators of soil health, land value, and other qualities” commented Will McClatchey, former Vice President and Director of Research at BRIT. “However, for most people, identification of specific plants is not easy, so tools like this app make identification a meaningful process that the average non-botanist can apply to get useful information.”
Gus Guthrie, a BRIT Volunteer and Texas Master Gardener of Tarrant County, voiced sentiments that echo McClatchey’s enthusiasm, “I really enjoyed BRIT’s Fort Worth prairie app. It was easy to explore and enjoyable to use. I know I’ll buy one when it comes out!”
The Flora of Texas app is now available at Amazon, Apple, and Google app stores for $7.99. A portion of revenues from the app supports BRIT’s ongoing efforts in research, conservation, and botanical exploration in the region.
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