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Weeds of the Northeast by R.H. Uva and others

Weeds of the Northeast  



  • Richard H. Uva
  • Joseph C. Neal
  • Joseph M. Ditomaso


  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0801483344
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.69 pounds


Book Description

Here, at last, is a lavishly illustrated manual for ready identification of 299 common and economically important weeds in the region south to Virginia, north to Maine and southern Canada, and west to Wisconsin. Based on vegetative rather than floral characteristics, this practical guide gives anyone who works with plants the ability to identify weeds before they flower. A dichotomous key to all the species described in the book is designed to narrow the choices to a few possible species. Identification can then be confirmed by reading the descriptions of the species and comparing a specimen with the drawings and photographs. A fold-out grass identification table provides diagnostic information for weedy grasses in an easy-to-use tabular key. Specimens with unusual vegetative characteristics, such as thorns, square stems, whorled leaves, or milky sap, can be rapidly identified using the shortcut identification table. The first comprehensive weed identification manual available for the Northeast, this book will facilitate appropriate weed management strategy in any horticultural or agronomic cropping system and will also serve home gardeners and landscape managers, as well as pest management specialists and allergists.


A handy guide–good identification photos, September 2, 2005

I’m very pleased with this guide. After spending time with field research botanists, I’ve come to appreciate how difficult it can be to catalog invasive plants–they’re EVERYWHERE! And of varying sizes, shapes, colors. Some so innocuous that it wouldn’t even occur to you to notice and others so prolific in their families that it takes forever to track the different varieties. Luckily, Uva, Neal, and DiTomaso did and put together an excellent little book. As a professional gardener, this has been a handy reference. I would give it five stars, but I do have issue with some of the items. In the Introduction, weeds are discussed, but it is not clearly established what makes a "weed" a weed. For example, mallow is listed as a weed, but it appears to be a weed in the context of agricultural plantings. To my understanding, there are several native varieties of mallow in the U.S. Is this particular variety non-native? Is it a nuisance plant? Is it unsightly? My definition of weed has always been non-native escapists or volunteers. I’d like to see this clearly defined.

I would also like more information on where the plant originates and what makes it a weed in the Northeast. As well as any beneficial qualities–are parts of the plant edible? Can any of it be used? Difficulties eradicating? Basically, as a gardener I’d like to know if there are any positive attributes. If I have a field full of amiranth is it the same type of amiranth sold in the stores? How does it vary? Could my client potentially harvest any of this before tilling or pulling out? The scientific information, such as plant identification: size of seeds, defining leaf shapes, etc., is all very clear and well done. As I said the photos are great. All in all this is indespensible, I just wish they would continue to add to the text.