About this tool

Tool format

At the heart of FNW Disseminules are the fact sheets. There is one for each of 114 FNW taxa, which are mostly species but sometimes are groups of species or even an infraspecific taxon (see Taxa covered for more details). Through text and pictures, each fact sheet provides a detailed description of a particular FNW taxon, including the physical characteristics of its disseminules, its weedy tendencies and distributions, and taxa with which the FNW taxon could be confused during identification.

This tool breaks down the total FNW taxon list into smaller groupings, first by disseminule type (e.g., Spores vs. Vegetative vs. Fruit & Seed; see Disseminule types). Ferns are listed under Spores; FNW plants that reproduce almost exclusively by vegetative reproduction are listed under Vegetative. Within the Fruit & Seed disseminule type, these angiosperm taxa are further broken down into three family groupings—1) Poaceae, 2 ) Fabaceae, and 3) Other Families—each of which is accompanied by its own matrix key for further discrimination. There is also a Key to Keys to assist the user in deciding which of the three family keys to use for taxon identification. This page includes tips for using each key.

While in any one of the three family keys, the collection of photographs for a particular taxon can be accessed by clicking on the thumbnail next to each entity. Fact sheets can be accessed by clicking on the "text" icon next to an entity.

Images and resulting characters chosen for the fact sheets and keys were those that could be accessed by an identifier using only a dissecting scope. Characters requiring microscopic resolution were not used.

With this tool, you can

  • quickly identify a FNW disseminule, determine that your disseminule is very similar to a FNW species, or confirm that your disseminule is not a FNW;
  • easily access comprehensive information for each taxon on fact sheets, including a botanical seed and/or fruit description, identification tips, distribution, and weed information;
  • view images for each taxon, including photographs of particular features, pencil drawings, and for some taxa, images of similar-looking species;
  • access supporting information including an introduction to general terms concerning plant disseminules, details on disseminule morphology in the Poaceae and Fabaceae, a glossary of terms, and an extensive list of references; and
  • browse fact sheets by name or by family.