COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new website from the University of Missouri Weed Science Program can help you identify weeds that might be invading your field, pasture, garden or lawn.

The website,, contains about 350 different plant species that could be encountered as a weed of field and horticultural crops, pastures, lawns, gardens, and noncrop or aquatic areas in Missouri and surrounding states, said Kevin Bradley, MU Extension weed scientist.

Proper identification of weeds is important so that you choose an appropriate and cost-effective method of control, he said.

“One of the newest features of the website is a keying system that allows users to identify an unknown plant after they have selected the appropriate characteristics from a series of drop-down boxes,” Bradley said.

Once you choose either “broadleaf” or “grass and grass-like,” you can narrow your list of suspects by selecting from among more than a dozen characteristics such as habitat, lifecycle, leaf type and root system. For more obscure characteristics such as the presence of ligules and auricles, helpful illustrations appear when you hover your mouse pointer over the drop-down box.

“If you have some idea as to what your weed species might be, you can simply type all or part of the common or scientific name into the appropriate text box,” Bradley said.

Once you’ve narrowed the possibilities somewhat, the site will display the names and photos of weeds that match the characteristics you selected, with links to more information about each plant.

MU Extension publications on weed management

For lawn and garden:

For farms and fields:

MU Extension Plant Protection Programs:

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