Elevate plant identification with varieties

Ondřej Veselý
October 24, 2023
5 min read
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Introducing the new 'Varieties' model

As the world of houseplants and ornamental varieties continues to flourish, many people now seek more than species identification. Our new 'Varieties' model responds to this demand and offers you a unique opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. With this expansion of the Plant.id, you can easily integrate enhanced plant identification into your product.

The coverage

The world of varieties and cultivars is vast, so we've carefully selected the most common ones, totaling 819 classes. Most of the classes in this model are taxonomic cultivars (cultivated varieties), such as Epipremnum aureum 'Marble Queen'. But the model includes other taxonomical levels, here's a breakdown and the corresponding number of classes:

Taxonomic Level Examples Number of Classes
Subspecies Crassula sarcocaulis subsp. rupicola 2
Variety Citrullus lanatus var. citroides 56
Cultivar Epipremnum aureum 'Marble Queen' 708
Trade Name Juniperus scopulorum Spartan™, Dianthus barbatus Green Trick®, Salvia Mystic Spires 45

These taxonomic levels may be combined, following the sequence Subspecies > Variety > Cultivar/Trade Name. Here are some examples:

  • Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium 'Brasil'
  • Syringa pubescens subsp. patula 'Miss Kim'
  • Yucca gloriosa var. tristis Walberton's® Bright Star
Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium 'Brasil'

We have used Garden.org as the authority for cultivated taxa (cultivars and trade names) and Gbif.org as the authority for wild-growing taxa (subspecies and varieties).

How to implement it

A new parameter, classification_level, is introduced (see the Documentation). This parameter allows you to customize the level of scientific names returned in the response. There are three options:

  • classification_level = all: genus, species and infraspecies names (for example Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium 'Brasil')
  • classification_level = species: genus and species epithet (for example Philodendron hederaceum); this is the default option
  • classification_level = genus: genus only (for example Philodendron)

Similar images are currently missing but will be added soon.

We also updated the (good old) species model, adding 2,140 new classes and improving accuracy. Check out our blog post!

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