Some easy ways to identify common garden weeds it to examine the leaves, stem and fruits produced by the plant. Thorns or flowers can also help identify the plant.
Early in the growing season, you can identify a weed by examining the leaf shape, looking at the stem type or examining the appearance and color of the plant. Broadleaf and grassy leaves are most common on immature weeds. If the plant is mature, the flowers, fruit and seed of the plant can help to identify the weed. Flowers may be of any size and color, but are usually found during early spring or late summer. Seeds are typically found late in the summer or early fall, when the plant has reached the mature stage.
The stems and mature leaves of the plant can help identify species. Stems may be fuzzy, squared, round or smooth, but fruit can vary between species. Leaves are generally rounded, linear or lobed. Many times, a plant may be determined from related species by the height of the plant.
Many times a local botany garden can help with identification of plants that are very similar in appearance. Books can also provide assistance, especially ones that focus on plants that are native to the region. This is usually helpful when the weeds are common in culinary or medicinal uses.