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Weeds/Invasive Plants Bibliography

Weeds—a perjorative term, not a botanical one, meaning “plants that show up where they aren’t wanted—are covered here. This category includes invasive species.

Note: book cover sizes in the list below are shown relative to each other. The list is organized by primary author. Some out-of-copyright books are available free at the supplied links.

Common Weeds of the United States

Author(s): Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture

Publisher: Dover Publications, Inc., 1971

ISBN: 978-0486205045

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This book, prepared by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, presents common weeds of the United States. I didn't see a count of the number of species, but I would estimate it at 220. Each set of facing pages describes a species, with a large, exquisitely detailed black & white line drawing on one page and a description and range map on the other. The descriptions are a bit technical, but if you are interested in understanding the plants you see every time you walk, this 463-page book presents a very nice overview.

Covers the United States.

Weeds and Wildflowers in Winter

Author(s): Brown, Lauren

Publisher: The Countrymen Press, 2012

ISBN: 978-1581571776

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: If you are scratching your head, wondering why anyone would care about identifying some dead sticks poking above the surface of the snow in the middle of winter, you can probably squeak through life without a copy of this book. But if you're into winter hiking or cross-country skiing, and you've been noticing the stark beauty of some of these plant exoskeletons, this is a great way to figure out what you are seeing. I am often surprised by how different a species looks at various stages of its growth cycle, so guides like this help to form a more complete understanding of a plant's life cycle. The author complements the line drawings with interesting stories about the species. 135 species. 252 pages.

New England, but relevant to other temperate regions

The Front Yard Forager: Identifying, Collecting, and Cooking the 30 Most Common Urban Weeds

Author(s): Herrera, Melany Vorass

Publisher: Skipstone, 2013

ISBN: 978-1594857478

View at: Amazon

Comments: Those urban weeds we all ignore because they’re so common? Many are edible and delicious. This guide describes 30 common edible weeds, with information on finding, identifying, and preparing them. The book includes identifying photos, information on when to harvest, lookalikes to avoid, and recipes. 191 pages.

Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species

Author(s): Kaufman, Sylvan Ramsey; Kaufman, Wallace

Publisher: Stackpole Books, 2007

ISBN: 978-0811733656

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: Describes about 175 alien invading species, including wildflowers, trees, shrubs and grasses. Invasive plants spread quickly, displacing native species and reducing biodiversity. Entries include identifying information, habitat and range, management information, and cross references. There is also a section on how the plant affects the ecosystem, and how it was introduced to North America. 458 pages.

North America

1200 Weeds of North America DVD

Author(s): Old, Richard

Publisher: XID Services, Inc., 2012

View at: XID Services

Comments: This DVD covers 1200 common weeds and grasses in the 48 conterminous states and nearby portions of Canada. It includes an interactive identification key that makes short work of identifying unknowns for both amateurs and professionals. Users choose the features they feel confident about identifying, in any order, narrowing down the choices with each new answer. Line drawings of plant and grass features reduce the guesswork and minimize advanced botanical jargon. Each species includes several detailed photos and a range map. This DVD runs on Windows computers running Windows XP or later. There is also an Android version.

USA except for Alaska and Hawaii, and adjacent Canada

Weeds of the Northeast

Author(s): Uva, Richard H.; Neal, Joseph C.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

Publisher: Comstock Publishing Associates, 1997

ISBN: 978-0801483349

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This 396-page guide describes 299 common or economically important weeds. Facing pages offer a detailed description of each weed, and multiple photographs of various aspects of the plant, including seeds. Includes several tables and keys.

Covers northeastern North America south to Virginia, north to Maine and southeastern Canada, and west to Wisconsin.

Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: a Field Guide

Author(s): del Tredici, Peter

Publisher: Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell Universty Press, 2010

ISBN: 978-0801474583

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: You could call this a weed book, since nearly every species in here would be so classed; or even a listing of invasive species, since many of these are a bit overly robust in some habitats. Or you could do as the author does, and recognize the vitality and sheer determination of these plants. Urban settings aren't especially friendly to wild plants, and those hardy few who manage quite nicely there deserve some respect. 158 common species are presented with two pages devoted to each. One page describes plant characteristics, germination, habitat preferences, ecological function, and cultural significance. The facing page contains many clear photos that allow an unambiguous identification. Even if you aren't a city dweller, you'll find most of these species in any temperate climate. 374 pages.

Northeastern United States