University of Missouri Extension has released a free app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices to help people easily identify weeds in the field, lawn or garden.
Kevin Bradley, MU Extension weed scientist, unveiled the app at the MU Crop Management Conference in December.
The app, called ID Weeds, has information on more than 400 plant species that could be encountered as weeds in crop fields, pastures, lawns, gardens or aquatic areas, Bradley said.
ID Weeds lets users narrow the list of suspects with a series of drop-down boxes for various plant characteristics. Don't worry if you're not familiar with technical terms such as "ligules" or "spatulate." For most characteristics, users can click on "what's this?" to see an illustration.
Clicking on "Identify" will produce a list of weeds that match the characteristics you've chosen. The more characteristics you specify, the shorter the list will be. Selecting a weed on the list brings up detailed information and one or more photographs.
You can also look up a weed by searching for its common or scientific name, or select from an alphabetical list, from "Alligatorweed" to "Yucca."
"Proper identification of weeds is important so that you choose an appropriate and cost-effective method of control," said Bradley, who is also an associate professor of plant sciences in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
The app was developed by James Meng, a programmer for MU Extension Technology and Computer Services.
ID Weeds is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad running iOS 5.1 or later, and devices running Android 2.2 or later.
*Android: Search for "ID Weeds" at play.google.com/store.
A web version is available at weedID.missouri.edu.