Unsolicited seeds? Don’t plant them!
Have you received unsolicited packages of seed in the mail? If so, you’re not alone. People from across the U.S. and Canada are reporting receipt of seeds they didn’t order that appear to be coming from China.
Though you may be tempted to plant them, both government officials and weed scientists strongly advise against doing so. You may be spreading invasive weed species that could threaten our agriculture and environment.
Authorities have already discovered packets containing seeds for dodder (Cuscuta L.) and Chinese waterspinach (Ipomoea aquatica), also known as swamp morningglory. Both are on the Federal Noxious Weed list. They have also found seeds for Sericea lespedeza, which is listed as a noxious weed in Kansas and Colorado.
What should you do if you receive an unsolicited seed packet? The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is spearheading an investigation. They ask that you support that effort by submitting an online report and mailing the seeds to the designated USDA APHIS location in your state.