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Wildflower app

Wildflower lovers can learn about arrowleaf balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata, and 804 other plants with the new 'Idaho Wildflowers' app.

TWIN FALLS • A new smartphone and tablet app, “Idaho Wildflowers,” is designed for people hitting the trails for wildflower hikes.

The app is the first time extensive information on many of Idaho’s most common wildflowers is accessible in one place on mobile devices, its producers said. Once the app is downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet, it can be used without an Internet connection.

“Idaho Wildflowers” provides images, species descriptions, range maps, bloom period and technical descriptions for 805 common wildflowers, shrubs and vines that occur in Idaho and adjacent areas of Montana, Washington, Utah and Oregon. The app is produced by High Country Apps, the University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the University of Idaho’s Stillinger Herbarium and the Idaho State University Herbarium.

“Idaho Wildflowers” caters to both budding wildflower enthusiasts and experts. The app is also helpful when learning about plant communities, botanical terms and how to identify plants in general.

“Idaho has a unique flora. We have influences from the Pacific Northwest in north Idaho, with a maritime climate and deep, dark forests. In the mountains of central Idaho and the southeast we have all the influences from the Rocky Mountains. In the intermountain region we have influences from the Great Basin,” said Dave Tank, a UI associate professor of biology and director of the Stillinger Herbarium. “For amateur and professional botanists, it’s always been a struggle. The ‘Idaho Wildflowers’ app provides access to information covering the whole state.”

The interface is broken into easy-to-use categories: growth habit (wildflower, shrub, vine), flower color, flowering month, geographic region, flower shape, number of petals, habitat, leaf arrangement, leaf type, duration (annual, biennial, perennial) and origin (native or introduced).

The “Idaho Wildflowers” app is available at Amazon, Apple and Google app stores for $7.99. A portion of revenues from the app supports conservation and botanical exploration in the region.

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