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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

I enjoy reading gardening books almost as much as I do gardening. I recently found an excellent book on weed identification and, since it snowed yesterday, I took the opportunity to sit down with it for awhile.

Though I’m well past having to look up most common weeds to identify them, I still like to have good reference books on hand. This book, Weeds of the Northeast, published by Comstock Publishing and written by Richard C. Uva, Joseph C. Neal, and Joseph M. DiTomaso, is one of the best I’ve seen recently.

What makes this book stand out from other weed identification books is that it is specific to this region. At nearly 400 pages, it includes every weed that I could think of looking for in it.

Weeds of the Northeast is well laid out, with easy to understand descriptive text to the left and good sharp photos to the right. One other thing that makes this book stand out is the inclusion of photos of weed seeds and seedlings in addition to the adult plants. Since gardeners are supposed to get after weeds before they become full grown, photos of what they look like as seedlings is a great help.

Though the book also includes photos of weed flowers where practical, the identification method is based on vegetative characteristics. This means that one is able to identify a weed whether it happens to be flowering or not. A vegetative key and shortcut identification table in the front of the book makes finding a specific plant quick and easy, and another pull out identification table in the back helps identify grasses, which often appear very similar.

This book would make a great gift for any gardener.

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