There's an App for That - McLean's Plants of the San Gabriel Mountains Now on iPhone

(reprinted with permission from Southern Sierran, June, 2010, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter)

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Splash screen of the iPhone app
The image that an iPhone user will see when he or she launches the application. The flowers are of Bigberry Manzanita, which is one of the San Gabriel Mountain shrubs that is in the application.

Now, you can take an interpretive guide to the plants of the San Gabriel Mountains into the field – with loads of pictures and a search capability – and it even fits into your pocket! Gabi and Cliff McLean have just released a version of their acclaimed interactive CD, “Plants of the San Gabriel Mountains: Foothills and Canyons”, for the iPhone and iPod Touch, in partnership with Earthrover Software. This large application, with over 1800 photographs of 256 plants, is available through the Apple iTunes App Store.

Like their CD, this iPhone app contains, on average, 6 photos of each plant, showing leaves, flowers, fruits, habit and habitat, along with a detailed plant description. For many of the plants, it also has information about bird and butterfly interactions, fire recovery, and gardening tips.

New in the iPhone app is a visual search, not just by flower color, but also by leaf or by fruit. A touch on a thumbnail photo takes you to the full photos, which you can browse easily with a swipe of your finger.

Natural history topics of geography and geology of the San Gabriels, plant communities, and fire and drought adaptations, as well as gardening with natives are included. There is even a review of basic botany in the app.

If you have been wanting a way to use the interpretive guide in the field while out in Eaton Canyon or up in the San Gabriel Mountains, now you can – if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch.

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