My struggle with weeds over the years has made me aware of the damage they can inflict in gardens, farms, and native ecosystems. I have learned to be vigilant and untrusting of even the smallest, innocent-looking weed seedling and yank it out upon first sight. I have grown curious as to why many weeds spread invasively whereas most crops and native species do not. Both crops and weeds have pollen that can spread widely, right? So why the difference in invasiveness? To answer this question, we need to consider where weeds originate, why they persist and reproduce, and how domesticated crop plants differ from weeds. These issues have become important in the debate about the potential impact of genetically engineered (GE) crops.