July 01, 2004
Susan Dunlap
Aerulean™ Plant Identification Systems, Inc.


Susan Dunlap, CEO of AERULEAN™ Plant Identification Systems, Inc., recently discovered a new way to identify plants. Her system provides the ability, even for non-specialists and amateurs, to quickly and accurately identify a known or not yet characterized plant species based on the specimen’s vegetative traits.

Ms. Dunlap initially photographed various species of plants and then compared those images to equivalent photographs of the plant’s nearest relatives. She refined her image gathering and comparison techniques over a three and a half year period, varying them depending upon the overall characteristics of the genus. Ultimately she was able to identify a plant and distinguish it from its relatives using a single image—one capturing a trait cluster unique to each species. To date, Ms Dunlap has gathered images of over 3,000 species—finding 100% compliance with her system.

Working with a team of attorneys from Heller Erhman, Ms. Dunlap has sought patent protection for the new invention by filing patent applications in the U.S. and worldwide. Upon confirming the validity of the method, Ms. Dunlap collaborated with numerous others to develop the prototype for AERULEAN’s plant identification and selection software.

We at AERULEAN are actively presenting our beta product to those with an interest in educating the home gardener and those who would benefit from more informed consumers of horticultural products. We are also interested in forming alliances and partnerships with those involved in educating the public about the plant kingdom.