Skip to main content

Weeds in the Urban Landscape

Where They Come from, Why They're Here, and How to Live with Them

Richard Orlando


List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A comprehensive identification guide to 189 common weeds in the urban environment, explaining their families and characteristics, with strategies for managing their presence in the garden and fields

This engaging field guide for the urban explorer, gardener, or armchair enthusiast traces the history of weeds as they migrated out of the Middle East with human tribes and spread across Europe and the Americas, details the folklore surrounding them, and explains their role in the evolution of agriculture and human civilizations as well as their many uses for medicine, food, animal fodder, and soil enhancement. Richard Orlando provides detailed descriptions of 189 common weeds—found across the U.S.—describing their families and characteristics, and suggesting strategies for managing their presence in the garden and field. Abundant illustrations enhance the text and facilitate plant identification. An annotated bibliography and index of botanical names, in addition to a detailed explanation of Integrated Pest Management, make this an essential reference for anyone with an interest in the world outside our doors.

Praise For Weeds in the Urban Landscape: Where They Come from, Why They're Here, and How to Live with Them

“Weeds in the Urban Landscape not only serves its purpose in helping avid gardeners and horticulturalists identify weeds in their gardens, fields, and landscapes, it also blends plant identification with fascinating ethnobotany of numerous species, covering interesting facts about their uses, properties, and history. For those interested in learning the identity of weeds and more, this will be one of their go-to resources.”
 —Joe DiTomaso, noncrop weed specialist, University of California, Davis
Weeds in the Urban Landscape is an enthusiastic, informed, and respectful look at the wild, tenacious plants we gardeners love to hate; a call to accept, and even appreciate, their essential role in a resilient, healthy environment.”
—Lorene Edwards Forkner, editor, Pacific Horticulture
“Richard Orlando combines his obvious knowledge of plants, an expansive view of botanical history, and just the right amount of humor to create this eminently readable treatise on urban weeds. The book should be on the shelf of any aspiring landscaper, gardener, or defender of ecosystems.”
—Chris Geiger, San Francisco Department of the Environment

North Atlantic Books, 9781623172114, 400pp.

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

About the Author

RICHARD ORLANDO worked for over twenty-five years as the lead gardener at UC Berkeley and has for nearly thirty years taught classes on weeds and gardening. He has led trainings for pesticide handlers and continues to offer consulting services as an arborist, in addition to continuing to teach.