Betty Ford Alpine Gardens present Alpine Wildflower Finder app | VailDaily.com

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens present Alpine Wildflower Finder app

Beth Harroun
Special to the Daily

It's that time of year again, Colorado. The snow has melted, the skis and boards have been stored away and it's finally time to strap on our hiking boots and head for the hills. It's wildflower season.

As the temperature starts to rise and the wildflowers start to grow, all hikers and wildflower lovers most definitely need a handy guide to help them identify each beautiful species they come across on the trail. Well, this year a new technology has been created so you can leave your wildflower books at home and log on to your own personal phone app right from the alpine trail way above cell range.

Boulder-based photographer Gerhard Assenmacher has teamed up with Betty Ford Alpine Gardens' executive director Nicola Ripley to create an app that allows you to do just that.

200 searchable pictures

Assenmacher, who normally specializes in photographing birds, has taken an interest in photographing alpine plants. He crafted the idea to make a wildflower guide displaying Colorado wildflowers and approached the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens about collaborating together to produce a wildflower guide app. He donated funds for programming as well as his time to collect brilliant photographs, only taken from their natural environment, to bring this resource to life.

Ripley has contributed to this project by identifying photographs and writing descriptions about each particular species within the guide.

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Almost 200 pictures — all searchable by common name, scientific name or color — can be found within the app free of charge, courtesy of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The app can be used without cell service way above tree line and new downloadable updates will become available for new plants.

The app can be found under Alpine Wildflower Finder and is downloadable on iPhones and Androids.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is located in Vail and is open to the public. It is Vail's own alpine treasure and the highest alpine garden in the world.

Educational activities are offered all summer long. For more information, visit http://www.bettyfordalpinegardens.org.