Find out more about how your photos will be used via our FAQ below or contact Andrew Mitchell via prior to submitting your photos

Why do we want your photos?

Researchers from the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, CSIRO and NSW DPI are currently in the process of building a weeds identification smart phone app which will be able to support your weeds management programs. Find out more here.

However, to build the app, they need to teach the system AND photos are the data! They are seeking photos of weeds, which you can easily send, using the below form.

Learn more about the types of photos needed for each species below.


Leaves are very important for plant identification. Plants nearly always have leaves but flowers and fruit are seasonal so make sure to get photos that show the shape of the leaf, the leaf edge, veins within leaves and leaf arrangement.


Flowers are the main feature used for plant identification, however for some types of plant such as daisies and grasses, the flowers are quite similar in appearance between species. Flowers tend to be over represented in photo collections so please remember to take photos of the other plant parts. Many flowers are very bright and flare out the photos, so we deliberately underexpose photos of white or yellows flower to preserve the details on petals. Try to capture plants as they
appear to your naked eye. Macro photos can show features that people cannot see.

It does not matter if leaves belonging to the same plant are present in the photo. The flowers also do not have to be perfect. Take some photos from above and some from the side.


Buds and Spent Flowers

For every flower at the peak of perfection, there are unopened buds and spent flowers. At the ends of the flowering season perhaps there are only buds and spent flowers or seed heads. Photograph what is there as the computer will see everything, not just the features that most attract a human eye.

All the photos below are of Cape Weed (Arctotheca calendula) and were taken within a few days. The show unopened flowers, spent flowers and seed heads.

Fruit and pods

Some plants have very bright fruit. Others have unipressive fruit. Please photograph both perfect fruit and fruit that have split or dried to release their seed or which have been opened by animals.


Stems and the way leaves or branches are arranged are often useful for distinguishing species that have look-alikes. Take photos of the stems, with the focus on where leaves joint to the stem. There are often scales, hairs or spines in this location that are important for plant ID.


Growth habit

Photograph the plant from a slight distance to capture the appearance of the plant as a whole or as a texture, if the plant grows in dense patches. If you capture a texture, also take a few close-ups so that we can see what creates the texture.

How will my photos be used?

All photos submitted will be used as part of the process to train the algorithms within the App to identify weeds. The more photos received the better the app will be trained to identify weeds when you are out in the field snapping away.

Do my photos need to be high quality?

No, photos don’t have to be text book examples of perfect plants. Take photos of grazed plants, mown plants, old plants and drought affected plants as we need to see the full range of what each weed can look like. What we do need to be most sure about is the type of plant you are sending us, the photo quality is less important.

Will I receive payment for my photos?

No, photo submissions are on a voluntary capacity only and will be used under a Creative Commons 4.0 Licence.

Doesn't this sort of plant ID app already exist?

This is a first of its kind for weeds in Australia. No app like it exists.