What on earth is that plant? Ask the Plant Identifier App!

What on earth is that plant?

I was totally stumped! Every spring and summer I look around my place and check out what’s growing and blooming. This year I noticed this plant I don’t remember seeing before—maybe this is the first year it’s bloomed.

The blooms were just gorgeous, blooming along the limbs of a compact bush, only about three feet high and wide, but I could not figure out what on earth it was. I took a photo and showed it to a lot of people and shared on Facebook.


plant identifier app says it's quince

The Unknown Plant

There were a lot of guesses from Facebook friends about what kind of plant it might be. Several people wondered if it was, perhaps, some type of quince, but the only kind of flowering quince I know is the old-fashioned one that has kind of spindly limbs with thorns and a small red flower.

Surely, I thought, there must be a plant identifier app for finding out! So I checked the App Store and found Garden Compass Plant/Disease Identifier. You can email a photo of a plant and they will tell you what it is! Best of all, it’s free )))

So I downloaded the free app (rated 4.5 stars) and sent off my photo and query. I was less than four hours later when I got the reply telling me my plant was Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles). They told me it comes in all kinds of beautiful colors, not just red.

A couple of weeks later I sent them an iPhone photo of some oak leaves, and asked what kind of oak it was. Within hours they told me I had a chinquapin oak. So I’m definitely going to keep using the Garden Compass app to identify plants (and plant diseases or bugs) I come across.


  1. This is a pretty nice app! I see a bunch of unknown plants, well, unknown to me, and to some people who share the same ignorance to plants as I am.. I think this is a great app, very well thought about. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Carolyn Billingsley says:

      You’re welcome, Sofia! Make sure you get a clear photo of blooms & leaves. I think it also helps to add a message about the size of the plant & the kind of environment in which it’s growing (like sun or shade). Although the app didn’t ask, I wrote the city & state where I found the plant as well. Anything that can help the expert hone in on a correct answer!

  2. Cool app indeed.. thanks for the share…

  3. The link in the post for the Garden Compass app does not go to Garden Compass. It goes to some random other gardening app. The correct link for the free Garden Compass app is:


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