Plants to Go: Bot Garden App Details Southern Flora

The North Carolina Botanical Garden has released FloraQuest, a new iPhone app that provides mobile devices with the contents of the 1,320-page Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States, a comprehensive guide to the identification, taxonomy, habitats and distribution of the more than 7,000 vascular plants that are native to a 14-state region of the Southeastern United States.

The app, which was developed by the UNC Herbarium at the garden and funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research through the Carolina Apps Program, enables users to pinpoint and identify specific plants by answering key questions about the plant and providing definitions of botanical terms.

“The visual keys, geographic key filtering, interactive identification tools and glossary and powerful search tools make this app a valuable and innovative resource for professionals, amateurs and students,” said Alan Weakley ’78, director of the UNC Herbarium.

The book weighs 7 pounds. An app-equipped mobile device can be taken into the field easily, with the app streamlining plant identification by narrowing results to plants found in the mobile device’s general location. The contents can be updated quickly and inexpensively, and the app also allows users to store photos and other information.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research’s Carolina Apps Program was created to identify innovative opportunities to leverage mobile technology to apply, translate and further UNC-led research ideas. FloraQuest is the second application developed and released under the program. The app is currently available at the Apple Store for $7.99.


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