Help identifying weeds to photograph.
October 17, 2011 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Am working on a project to photograph some weeds in my area as pictorial reference for allergy patients. I can find pictures of specimens, but I must use original work. When I go out weed hunting, I cannot tell the difference between mustard or golden rod or ragweed (for example). Any ideas for a field guide, including a budding botanist? This is for Southern California.
posted by Don92705 to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
Fairly basic but I have an old golden guide to weeds - which strictly speaking is a kids/young adult book but the drawings are excellent.
posted by countrymod at 3:12 PM on October 17, 2011

Best answer: Contact a botanist at your local college or university, explain your project and see if they can recommend someone to go along with you.
posted by NoraCharles at 3:43 PM on October 17, 2011

Call the plant information line at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. I used to volunteer there, and the botanist on staff can help you with weed identification and resources for same. If you live near Arcadia, you can visit in person with real weed samples you've collected and he can point out the differences.
posted by Nattie at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2011

If the Arboretum doesn't pan out, try the local Extension agent.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:27 PM on October 17, 2011

There is a lot of good reference material available through the California Invasive Plant Council. Especially take a look at this page here of books and publications. The Weeds of California and Other Western States is a quite comprehensive tome and it's possible you might be able to use some of their photographs (it says that it "includes a CD containing all photographs in the book, copyright-free for educational use.") Another good reference is Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands, though not all of your allergen-producing plants are going to be invasives and hence in the book.
posted by Numenius at 6:08 PM on October 17, 2011

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