It can be frustrating to admire the silky colors of a wildflower when you're not sure what to call it.

Now, their names can be identified with the tap of a smartphone.

Oregon State University programmers and botanists worked together with a company called High Country Apps to develop a mobile app, Oregon Wildflowers, that identifies over 1,000 plants.

by: PHOTO: TANYA HARDY - A screenshot of the app identifying a desert larkspur.

They are part of the Oregon Flora Project, an OSU-based nonprofit dedicated to being a resource on wild plants, which is developing a new "Flora of Oregon" book useful to climate change scientists, policy makers, gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Oregon Wildflowers app offers history, multimedia and maps for wildflowers, shrubs and vines that are found in Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho.

To identify a mystery flower, select from 12 illustrated categories such as geography, number of petals, leaf type and shape, color, size and habitat. The app is available in the Apple and Google app stores and on Amazon for Android, Apple devices and Kindle Fire.

It costs $7.99, but proceeds benefit conservation and regional botanical exploration through OSU's agriculture school.

Julia Rogers can be reached at 503-546-5137 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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