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Weeds of the West.
T. D. Whitson, L. C. Burril, S. A. Dewey, D. W. Cudhey, B. E. Nelson, R. D. Lee, R. Parker. U.W. Cooperative Extension Service, Bulletin Room, University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3313, Laramie, WY 82071-3313. 1991. 630 pp. Softcover. $19. 50 (includes postage). ISBN 0-941570-13-4.

"A plant that interferes with management objectives for a given area of land at a given point in time," quoting J. M. Torell, is the criterion the authors used to select plants for the book. This 650-page handbook, with more than 900 color photographs (from early growth stages through maturity), covers hundreds of weed species typical of the western states. Entries are arranged alphabetically by scientific plant family name. Each species is covered in a two-page spread, including a full-page color photograph opposite text and additional detail photos. The concise descriptions make identification easy. The commentary on each account details information on the plant's origin, its occurrence, flowering period, reproductive biology, and other facts.

Weeds of the West need not be a geographically limiting book, as many of the included species are cosmopolitan weeds known throughout North America. You will find few plant titles with so much color in the book's very reasonable price range. Like a Montana horizon, Weeds of the West is monumental.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.