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Alan Weakley wants to help you identify the hot-pink wildflower that catches your eye on morning dog walks and distinguish between a tulip tree and a sweet gum without having to lug around a guide that could double as a cornerstone.

As director of the UNC Herbarium at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Weakley has spent years digitizing and synthesizing botanical information to make it more user-friendly. Now, he and a team he leads have introduced a mobile plant-identification app called FloraQuest: Northern Tier. It’s the first of five regional FloraQuest apps in development.


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