How to Identify Flowers & Plants with iPhone with a Cool Hidden Feature

Jun 2, 2022 - 36 Comments

How to Identify Plants and Flowers with iPhone

Did you know your iPhone has a built-in ability to identify many common flowers, plants, and objects?

Thanks to Siri Knowledge, your iPhone camera can easily identify a surprising amount of plants, flowers, items, and other objects that you point the camera to and snap a picture of, but most people don’t know about this hidden feature.

Grab your iPhone, go find a flower or plant somewhere, and let’s walk through how this cool feature works.

How to Identify Plants, Flowers, and Objects with iPhone Camera

The iPhone’s built in Siri Knowledge feature lets you identify plants and flowers and it works pretty well, here’s how to use this great feature:

  1. Open the iPhone Camera and take a picture as usual, say of a flower (in this example a photo was taken of a dandelion)
  2. Go to the Photos app and find the photo you just snapped of the flower or object
  3. Tap on the (i) button with a sparkle on it
  4. How to identify plants and flowers with iPhone

  5. Choose “Look Up – Plant”
  6. How to identify plants and flowers with iPhone

  7. Siri Knowledge will bring up several options with information about the identified plant or object, usually from Wikipedia, tap on that to get more info
  8. How to identify plants and flowers with iPhone

  9. Learn about the plant, flower, or object, and repeat with more pictures of more things as you want
  10. How to identify plants and flowers with iPhone

The detection algorithm is pretty good and in testing I was able to accurately identify many common plants and trees. A few more obscure flowers were not successful, but like many things I’m sure that will improve over time too as more data is processed and inputted on the back-end of the image detection and object recognition machine learning engine.

For flowers and plants that are not identified by Siri Knowledge that’s built into your iPhone, you can always use other apps. In fact, there are many third party apps that aim to identify flowers, mushrooms, plants, leaves, etc, and some of those work much better than Siri Knowledge that is built into iPhone. Some are free to download and use, while other third party detections apps are plastered with annoying ads or have wildly high subscription fees that are just outright goofy considering what you’re using the app for. There are also some apps like PictureThis that work quite well for free, but constantly try to upsell you into a paid plan, but if you discard the upsell notices you’ll find work just fine on it’s own as the free version.

Did you try out Siri Knowledge for detecting a flower or plant, and how did it work for you? Do you use your iPhone to help you identify things in your environment, whether they be flowers, plants, or other things? Do you use the built-in Siri Knowledge feature, or a third party app? Let us know your own experiences!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Dee says:

    My mini 13 does not have the sparkle ✨ and therefore I cannot use the feature (i) 😔 I have tried everything.

  2. Andrew says:

    Perfect. I had an app for doing that that was a little unreliable, switch to using Google Lens, and it was spot-on for the most part, but now I have this feature which will be my go-to. Have already told friends and family about it.

  3. Peter J. Large says:

    Worked beautifully and correctly identified three out of four flowers in our garden. I am inUK.

  4. Craig says:

    I have the same problem. I am using an iPhone X, with a 15.5 and no sparkle occurs after I take a picture. Is there a specific setting under which the picture must be taken?

  5. Holly says:

    Doesn’t work for me, either. I’ve tried several times. No sparkle by the “i” . . .
    But it does tell me where the flower is in my yard! which is no big help.

    • tom says:

      It works on any modern iPhone with iOS 15 or later and in the USA

      The sparkly ‘i’ sometimes takes a few minutes to come up especially if it’s a new picture

    • George Beltzhoover says:

      Worked for me. iPhone SE Gen2

  6. Maddie says:

    This so cool, thanks for the instructions!
    Overall it worked great & quick.

    It couldn’t identify an unusual black Butterfly Bush blossom, & misidentified a pink cactus blossom as Portulaca or Moss Rose, but it did get other things right.

    Can’t wait to use it to identify trees.

  7. Maddie says:

    This so cool, thanks for the instructions!
    Overall it worked great & quick.

    It couldn’t identify an unusual black Butterfly Bush blossom, & misidentified a pink cactus blossom as Portulaca or Moss Rose, but it did get other things right.

    Can’t wait to use it to identify trees.

  8. Joe Mayer says:

    This still has not worked on my iPhone or iPad! The SPARKEL IS NOT SHOWING UP.?? Any help would be helpful?

  9. Robert M says:

    There its no sparkle i button on my iPhone X.

  10. Wim F. Abbenhuis says:

    It doesn’t work, don’t see a sparkling “i”.
    Maybe only in English versions?

  11. Howard says:

    Worked fine for identifying a Petunia. Not a real hard one but pretty cool. Thanks for sharing that.

  12. Peter Macdonald says:

    Useful but it can only be used if iPhone Region is set to USA

  13. Nadine says:

    I also tried . With old photos and new photos and the SPARKLE does not appear.
    Does it only work if one is NOT in WIFI mode maybe?

  14. Reidar olsen says:

    It dosent work!!
    No sparkling i.
    Have vaiting in 10 min, Nottingham happend.

    iPhone 12 pro, all update ok.

    Best regard…..Reidar Olsen.

  15. martin wagg says:

    Has just worked fine to identify a rose and a courgette.

  16. Wim F. Abbenhuis says:

    Wim F.

  17. Reader says:

    It is worth noting that this is only available when in the US
    (Settings > Language & Region > Tap Region, then select United States)
    and when Siri Lookup is enabled (Settings > Siri & Search > Content from Apple > Show in Lookup)

  18. Tatiana says:

    Doesn t work for me on iphone 13 , the info (i) doesn t have any spark, it s just an i in a circle. Do i need to make some settings? Thanks

  19. Carl Mollee says:

    Photo detecting works not on my iPhone 6s Plus IOS15.5

    Why ????

  20. John says:

    I have iPhone 10 running the latest IOS but can’t get this to work. I bet it requires newer iPhone then a 10 in fact the instructions mentioned iPhone 11.
    I wish would have mentioned the hardware limitations. Maybe it’s just me running my 10 without issues.

  21. Julia says:

    I’m with Maria. Using OS 15.5 I don’t see a “sparkle”, just the i circle.

  22. Brian says:

    Does not work on iPhoneX, IOS 15.5. Is the feature only available in later model phones?

  23. Joe says:

    Is not working on my iPhone 6 no sparkle ?

  24. mrfloris says:

    iPhone 11 Pro Max, cannot get this to work (Netherlands).

  25. Maria says:

    It doesn’t work, Look up doesn’t appear on my images. Is it region dependent? Or some Siri setting needs to be turned on? I have an iPhone SE 2 with the latest iOS 15.5

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site