Editor’s note
The following abstract describes a publication that is available for purchase from Michigan State Extension. To order this publication, please visit the MSU Extension Bookstore.

Reviewed by Kevin Bradley
Division of Plant Sciences

Andrew J. Chomas, James J. Kells, J. Boyd Carey
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
Michigan State University

Accurate weed identification is the first step in a successful weed management program. Weeds respond differently to different management strategies. Whether you choose chemical, cultural or mechanical control measures, you need to know what weed species are present. Failure to identify the weed problem accurately may lead to wasted time and money or excess pesticide applied to the environment.

Because most weeds are most effectively controlled at a very young stage, it is important to identify them as early as possible. Unfortunately, many weeds look very similar at a young stage. This guide is designed to help identify seedling weeds while there is still time to control them.

This guide includes 54 of the most common weed species in the North Central Region. Colored photographs are provided that highlight the distinguishing characteristics of the weed seedlings. A key for identifying grasses is also included.


  • Grass
  • Grasslike weeds
  • Broadleaf weeds


  • 21
Publication No. NCR607