Richard Old ’77, ’81
XID Services, Inc., 2008

When you don’t know what you’re dealing with, weedy plants may be hard to handle. Richard Old, a longtime Pullman resident and weed identification expert, has put together this comprehensive database of weeds for both public and private use.

The DVD, a sequel to Old’s CD 1,000 Weeds, contains more than 6,000 images of weeds found throughout North America. With details like the color of the plant juice, height, flower traits, leaf shape, and root characteristics, users may be able to narrow down a weed’s ID. For example, only 433 species have a yellow flower. Of them, only 241 have leaves 0.8 to 1.6 inches wide. Of those, only 75 have more than 10 petals, and about 50 have a taproot. Factor in the milky juice and the leafless, unbranched, flowering stem, and you have identified a dandelion.

The DVD, which sells through the XID web site for $50, is compatible with Windows 95 or higher. It includes a tutorial through all the program features, as well as distribution maps for each species.