Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Weeds of the Northeast

Weeds of the Northeast by Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal, and Joseph M. DiTomaso is one of those reference books that never goes out of date. My copy, which I only purchased a few months ago, is already well-thumbed.

I have yet to find a book about weeds that is as comprehensive and as inclusive as this one.  And while it focuses on weeds that are primarily found in the northeast quadrant of the country (north to Canada, south to Virginia, and west to Wisconsin), my guess is that it would be helpful for many other areas of North America as well.

The book is designed in such a way that identification of weeds can be accomplished relatively easily.  There are identification tables that differentiate similar weeds based on characteristics and multiple pictures showing each of the plants included at multiple stages of their life cycle.

I find myself walking through the gardens with the book in hand, quickly identifying things that have eluded my efforts to properly name them for years. Of course, one woman's wildflower is another woman's weed, and so my lone cautionary note is that not everything in the book needs to be pulled up and relegated to the compost pile.

While Virginia Creeper is classified as a "weed" for the purposes of this book, we have it happily growing over a chain link fence where the dark green leaves cover the unattractive metal fencing and the berries attract wood thrushes, warblers, and woodpeckers.

Likewise, Johnny Jump-ups are a staple in many of our beds and our two trumpet vines provide late summer color where they've been trained to grow.

That said, the information about each plant's growth habits, propagation, and root system has made it easier to eradicate weeds that are not welcome in our perennial beds and has helped us to effectively control those that we've chosen to cultivate and enjoy as "wildflowers".


  1. I bet that is a good book to have. I have a lot of weeds I don't know the name of - of course, I pull them anyway! ;)

  2. I have 4 weed books, not that I'm obsessed with weeds or with books. Well, okay, maybe a little. They sure do help ID those 'volunteers' that sometimes pop up in the gardens; so then I know what I need to eventually rip out.

  3. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. It's wonderful that it is a regional book so that it will identify the weeds in my garden!


Thank you for leaving a comment for us. We try to reply to each one here on the blog so feel free to ask questions and we will respond. Do be sure to subscribe to the comments so you will receive our reply by email. Otherwise, you can email us for a more personal, detailed reply to a query.

Spam Alert: Spammers, our spam blocker keeps most of you out and the few that slip through with inappropriate links, we immediately delete so you probably shouldn't even waste your time.

Everyone else, do have a great gardening day!