Calculation of the foliar area with Petiole, a mobile app for leaf area measurement

The measure leaves surface areas, save your measurements, see the comparison of leaves surface areas, and add experimental crops and fields
Source: Android description

Useful information about Petiole

Download: Android 4.2 (3.4MB)
Price: free (there is a paid option)
Language: English
Runs offline: no
Last update: Android 15/03/2016
Website of the developer: Petiole


This application allows you to calculate in a simple way the surface area of the leaves (what is known as foliar area), an important variable for estimating plant growth or agricultural potential.

The use of the application requires opening a user account (if you only want to try it, you have a possibility to use a demo version). Once implemented this requirement, you access a screen in which the leaves whose surface has been calculated previously are stored. To perform the measurement of a new leaf, Petiole will ask you first to install OpenCV Manager, a small application that, among other features, allows detection and object recognition. You also have to print this file containing a chessboard, which it will allow you to calibrate the camera of the mobile device and get the value of the surface area (to start calibration, click the button with the + symbol). It is advisable to use some kind of plastic cover to crush the leaf (a transparent cover of a CD, for example). Also, if you need accurate measurements, from Petiole recommend using a stand to eliminate vibrations transmitted by hand and realize the calculations always from the same distance.

More information
Vyacheslav Bykov, ecologist: I have measured 10 plant leaves only in 3 minutes
Images: Screenshots 07/07/2016. © Petiole

Rating 4 out 5


The foliar area “is an important variable for most ecophysiological studies in terrestrial ecosystems concerning light interception, evapotranspiration, photosynthetic efficiency, fertilizers, and irrigation response and plant growth”, as Pandey et al. remember in the study “A simple, cost-effective method for leaf area estimation“. However, it is an extremely laborious and often expensive task if you opt for the use of complex equipment to carry out a direct measurement.

Petiole, like previous initiatives, seeks to facilitate this work using a previously calibrated mobile as a measuring tool for obtaining these parameters. It has not been compared the degree of accuracy provided by this application in relation to the usual methods of work or professional equipment traditionally used, although it is a tool that is being received with interest by the scientific community.

Author:  Judit Urquijo
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