To identify the most commonly regulated weedy plants in the United States and southern Canada, we compiled a database of noxious weed lists obtained from the 48 continental states and six bordering provinces. The 10 most frequently listed weeds are Cirsium arvense, Carduus nutans, Lythrum spp. (includes purple loosestrife), Convolvulus arvensis, Euphorbia esula, Acroptilon repens, Sorghum spp. (includes johnsongrass and shattercane), Cardaria spp. (includes hoary cress, also called whitetop), Centaurea maculosa, and Sonchus arvensis. When genera are ranked, the top genus is Centaurea, which includes C. maculosa, C. diffusa, and C. solstitalis. Biological control programs have targeted many of the top dicotyledonous weeds of national concern, but none of the weedy grasses and sedges. We recommend that exploratory studies be initiated to determine the feasibility of developing biological control agents for the latter species. The complete database of noxious weed lists is available on the Internet at http://invader.dbs.umt.edu. This information may be useful to resource managers and regulatory officials in assessing which weeds are problematic in adjacent geographic areas and by researchers to help select which weeds to target with new management strategies.
Nomenclature: Acroptilon repens (L.) DC. CENRE, Russian knapweed; Cardaria draba (L.) Desv. CADDR, hoary cress; Carduus nutans L. CRUNU, musk thistle; Centaurea diffusa Lam. CENDI, diffuse knapweed; Centaurea maculosa Lam. CENMA, spotted knapweed; Centaurea solstitialis L. CENSO, yellow starthistle; Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. CIRAR, Canada thistle; Convolvulus arvensis L. CONAR, field bindweed; Euphorbia esula L. EPHES, leafy spurge; Lythrum salicaria L. LYTSA, purple loosestrife; Sonchus arvensis L. SONAR, perennial sowthistle; Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench SORVU, shattercane; Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. SORHA, johnsongrass.