Wonderful weeds: an extensive & fully illustrated guide from seedlings to fruit.
This beautifully illustrated book, written by botanist Madeline Harley (formerly of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) provides an invaluable guide to identifying weeds found in the British Isles. The introduction discusses various aspects of weeds, looking at how they are defined, their uses, nomenclature, survival stragegies, the concept of weeds and weeding, and advice on wise weeding. A total of 182 species are included in the guide: two non-flowering plants (Common Horsetail - Equisetum arvense, and Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum), followed by many flowering plants (both dicotyledons and monocotyledons). The species are grouped within these sections by plant family, and listed by common name. Only those weedy grass species that are relatively easy for amateurs to identify are included, and water weeds are excluded. Each plant entry has a description providing information on plant status (native or introduced), characteristics (such as habit, height, colour, flowering date etc) and occurrence. There are additional brief notes under the headings: pollination; regeneration strategy; weed control; herbal, culinary, culture and folklore; and toxicity. The colour images which accompany each entry are generally of exceptional quality and illustrate key stages in the life of the plant (such as seedlings, adult plants, flowers, fruits, seeds and other relevant features such as roots, tubers or bulbs) to aid correct identification. The appendices comprise summary descriptions of the plant families; a glossary of terms used in the text; and a bibliography listing useful reference books and websites. The index lists both common and Latin names.