A new app to identify weeds has been developed by University of Missouri (MU) Extension.

Called ID Weeds, the app includes data on more than 400 plant species that could be considered as weeds in crop fields, pastures, lawns and other areas in Missouri and surrounding states, says Kevin Bradley, MU Extension weed scientist. It can be downloaded to iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

The app lets users narrow the list of suspects with a series of drop-down boxes for various plant characteristics. For most characteristics, users can click on “What’s This?” to see an illustration.

Click on “Identify” for a list of weeds that match the characteristics chosen. The more characteristics specified, the shorter the list will be.

Once a weed is identified and chosen, the app offers detailed information and one or more photographs.

A weed can also be identified by its common or scientific name, or selected from an alphabetical list.

“Proper identification of weeds is important so that you choose an appropriate and cost-effective method of control,” says Bradley, also a plant scientist in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

The app, developed by James Meng, an MU Extension programmer, is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices running iOS 5.1 or later and instruments running Android 2.2 or later. To download iPhone and other iOS devices, click here; to use with Android, click here. A web version is available at weedID.missouri.edu.

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