The Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed in 2020 six species of weeds on the state’s Noxious Weed List for the first time in nine counties.
Weeds categorized as Prohibited Noxious Weeds are the worst types of weeds. The law requires species on this list to have all above- and belowground plant parts destroyed, because the weeds may be harmful to public health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock or other property.
Collaboration with multiple agencies and organizations throughout the state, including county agricultural inspectors, township supervisors and city mayors, helps the MDA successfully detect noxious weeds on the eradicate list and confirm unrecognized species.
The new finds were common teasel, Dakota and Olmstead counties; cutleaf teasel, Martin County: Dalmatian toadflax, Cass County; meadow knapweed, Norman County; Palmer amaranth, Winona County; and poison hemlock in Steele, Watonwan and Waseca counties.
Common teasels and cutleaf teasels are closely related, short-lived perennials that have spiny, stiff flowers and seed heads; they prefer sunny, open habitats such as roadsides or pastures. Dalmatian toadflax is a perennial with yellow flowers that grows in sandy or gravelly soils. Meadow knapweed is a deep-rooted perennial with pink flowers that grows in sunny, wet conditions. Palmer amaranth is a high-profile noxious weed of row crops. Poison hemlock is a highly toxic plant that looks similar to wild carrot and grows in moist areas and along rights of way.
The MDA verifies the reports and, when possible, collects samples for the official University of Minnesota herbarium records. As the regulatory agency for managing noxious weeds, the MDA also helps local governments with weed management and enforcement of the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law. The MDA provides training to county agriculture inspectors, and these inspectors enforce the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law.
To report a noxious weed, contact the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at email@example.com or call 888-545-6684.