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Seeds, as small and unobtrusive as they seem, are an essential part of the life cycle of plants. In addition, they are useful for indentification of plants and, in fact, are often superior for that purpose that other parts of a plant. Thant's because seedds have distinctive characteristics, tend to outlast all other plant parts, and vary little within a species-unlike other parts such as leaves. Since weeds interfere with the growth, harvesting, and quality of crops, Linda Dvais says, the ability to identify weed seeds before they are indavertently planted affords an economic advantage. Other weed-control measures-herbicides and mechanical removal of unwanted plants-are enormously costly in comparison. Lavishly illustrated with more than 600 photographs and drawings, this handbook provides information about the seeds of 280 species of weedy plants of the Great Plains, including ones commonly found in crops, rangeland, lawns, and along roadsides. This is the only book available that covers a large number of Great Plains plants. For each species it provides a high-quality color photograph showing minute details, a black-and-white life-size silhouette (against which actual seeds can be compared), and a full description. An easy-to-use set of finding lists facilitates identification of unknown seeds. Both scientific and common names are used throughout, and an illustrated glossary clarifies technical terms.
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