The National Park Service invites you to take along a virtual botanist the next time you visit the Santa Monica Mountains. With over 1000 plants and 7500 photos, this App offers both novice and advanced wildflower enthusiasts the opportunity to identify common and rare plants while exploring remote areas of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Visitors can choose several basic flower characteristics on the App's interface like color, size and shape. Based on those characteristics, the App presents several possible photographs to compare to the actual flower. Flowers that are more difficult to identify often come with several photographs so that visitors can confidently make an identification.
The App is based off of the award-winning website "Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area". An easy way to experience the content of the App before deciding to download is to visit the web site at https://www.smmflowers.org/mobile/Bloom.htm, or you can also reach it from the Park’s website: www.nps.gov/samo. Follow "Plan Your Visit" then "Things To Do" then "Look For Wildflowers." There you will find a link called "Mobile Web Version - Smart Phones" that leads to the version of the WildFlower website that most closely resembles the content of the App.
The App resides entirely on your device, so the content generally loads more quickly than a web site can with even the highest connection speeds. An important benefit of this is that if you are out in remote place without an internet connection, you can still access all of the App's content. One consideration when downloading the App is that it is large and takes up over 600MB when expanded onto your device. This is due to the large number of included photographs. It is about a 500MB download.
This October 2023 update is a minor update bringing the Android version in step with the Apple version:
- Add three new plants and 38 new photos.
- The 'Botanist Mode' setting now switches some of links to the plant scientific names.