A Global Compendium of Weeds – 2nd edition.

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Dr Stephen Johnson

Managing Editor, Plant Protection Quarterly, Orange NSW, 2800 Australia.

Cite this article as:

Johnson, S.B. (2012a). A global compendium of weeds – [Book Review]. Plant Protection Quarterly 27(4), 140.

The release of the first edition of the hard copy publication of ‘A Global Compendium of Weeds’ (Randall 2002), was a water shed moment. Finally, those in the weed community who sought accurate global information and reference details on the status of any particular plant and its ‘weedy status’ could turn to a source that was well-researched, authoritative and informative. The 905 pages of that reference included an A-Z listing of plant species constructed from a database that relied on 992 000 taxa records from over 700 data sources (Panetta 2002). Panetta (op cit.) contended that it represented the most comprehensive coverage of the world’s weed flora since the atlas produced by Holm et al. (1979).

Rod has not been idle since that time and has expanded his database to 2.7 million records (Randall 2012). The electronic publication ‘A Global Compendium of Weeds – 2nd editon’ has increased to 1285 the number of references cited (four times the number cited in the 2002 version). The 1118 pages of the publication expand even further the information on the world’s weed flora, a continuing crucial need for weed risk assessment and species management as the world becomes even more interconnected, and as plant trade continues. The information has been expanded and updated on each plants Genus and species taxonomy, with the plant Family also listed. In a key change, alternate scientific names are also listed when they are referred to elsewhere in the Compendium, thus removing the need for an index.

Plant usage status is represented and categorised as: cultivated; pasture; forestry; toxic; parasitic; arid; aquatic; and crop. The status codes of each plant are abbreviated for easy reference and collated as: agricultural weed; cultivation escape; environmental weed; garden escape; invasive; naturalised; unconfirmed naturalisation; quarantine weed; sleeper weed; casual alien; native weed; weed; noxious weed and contaminant.

There are many superlatives that could be used to describe a publication as encompassing and of such a high standard as this is. However, when words fail, perhaps the best thing to be said is ‘very good work Rod and congratulations from Polymeria Publishing’. We look forward to using the reference even more than the 1st edition.


Holm, L., Pancho, J.V., Herberger, J.P. and Plucknett, D.L. (1979). A geographical atlas of world weeds. (John Wiley and Sons, New York).

Panetta, F.D. (2002). Foreword. In A global compendium of weeds.’ (R.G and F.J. Richardson, Melbourne). p. i.

Randall, R.P. (2002). ‘A global compendium of weeds.’ (R.G and F.J. Richardson, Melbourne).

Randall, R.P. (2012). ‘A global compendium of weeds. 2nd Edition. (Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia).


Published by and available from the Department of Agricture and Food, Western Australia 2012, or online at http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr/imported_assets/content/pw/weed/global-compendium-weeds.pdf, 1124 pages. ISBN 978-0-646-57878-1

First published online: December 4, 2012