The College of Agriculture at Montana State University and High Country Apps have partnered to produce the new Montana Grasses identification app for smart phones and tablets. The app provides images, species descriptions, range maps, and other information for more than 200 grasses and grass-like plants (graminoids) inhabiting the agricultural landscapes in Montana and adjacent states and provinces. Designed for beginners and experts alike, Montana Grasses will appeal to anyone who wants to identify grasses and learn more about them. The app does not need an Internet connection to run, so you can use it no matter where your wanderings take you.
Users can browse the species list or search for specific plants by common or scientific name. In addition, the app’s identification feature provides 13 sets of characteristics to help define your search, including: overall appearance, seed head, blade width, auricle, habitat, elevation, and origin (native or introduced). Select the characteristics you know -- a click of a button returns a list of thumbnail images and species that match your search.
Montana Grasses includes a “favorites” feature that allows users to select a custom list of species for future reference and sharing via email and social networks. Lastly, detailed information on grass identification basics, sources and resources, as well as a glossary of botanical terms and diagrams of grass anatomy are provided.
The app will be updated on a regular basis to add new species and other content, and available to all users at no additional charge. A portion of revenues from the app will be dedicated by High Country Apps to support plant conservation in Montana.
The app is a joint development of the College of Agriculture at Montana State University and High Country Apps of Bozeman, MT. Montana State University, the State's land-grant institution, educates students, creates knowledge and art, and serves communities by integrating learning, discovery, and engagement. Expertise on the grass family was provided during the development of this app by faculty and staff in the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Department and the Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology Department, which are two of the primary Departments dedicated to research on plants, including crop development, native plant diversity, and invasive plant ecology and management.
Updated for iOS 11.4+.
Ratings and Reviews
Although I live in southwest Washington, I find this app useful. It is well made and easy to use. I've found that the distribution maps lack some records for counties in my state, but that is a problem I've seen in many publications about many types of organisms (even in regional Washington books). I only wish there was Washington/Oregon Grass app! Great job and please keep the updates coming.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for your positive review! There may well be a Washington/Oregon Grasses app coming up.
Can't say enough good things about this app
I'm a professional botanist / plant ecologist in Wyoming and have used a couple of the other high country apps like wildflowers of Yellowstone etc. I love the interface, the different ways to sort plants and the plant maps and descriptions. I was so happy to see the addition of a grasses app to the series. I think that the level of detail is just right for determining how to identify the most common grasses and I love that the distinguishing characteristics are stated up front. I love the addition of the 'favorites' option to find frequently referred to grasses and the photos are helpful. I've used this app extensively to teach our wildlife crew the difference between western wheatgrass and slender wheatgrass, something that is not easy to do but was made easier by the helpful photos in this app
A lot of potential.
Nice pictures, but not all of them could be magnified.
The favorite button does not work.
I have a small ranch 180 ac. [cattle and horses] and need to eradicate undesired grasses from hay.
I need some info about germination temperatures for weed grasses i.e. Foxtails.
I do not want to use chemicals but, appropriate cover crops that effectively compete with them and grazing.
This application could be much better if it had more practical information for organic farmers, to be attractive.
So much potential in it.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for your comments. We plan to update this app next Fall. I will pass your comments on to our partners at MSU. I'm wondering which version of iOS you're using -- we do not see this favorite button problem, but could replicate it if we knew the version you have. As for the images, we keep their files sizes fairly small so that we can supply a large number of images and species into one downloadable package that works offline.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.