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Noxious weeds reported in Nicollet, Blue Earth Co.

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) confirmed five species of weeds on the state’s Noxious Weed Prohibited Eradicate List for the first time in eight counties in 2019.

Oriental bittersweet weeds were confirmed in Nicollet and Rice Counties. Cutleaf teasel was reported in Blue Earth County.

Other noxious weeds confirmed were black swallow-wort in Washington County, Palmer amaranth in Houston and Lincoln Counties and poison hemlock in Clay, Nobles and Rice Counties.

Considered the worst types of weeds, the law requires species on the list to have all above and below-ground plant parts destroyed since the weeds may be harmful to public health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock, or other property.

Oriental bittersweet is a deciduous, woody, perennial, climbing vine-like shrub. All parts of it are considered toxic to horses. The toxin is an unknown, gastrointestinal irritant of horses.

Cutleaf teasel have small, dense, white flowers in oval, terminal heads in sunny grasslands and on riverbanks. They are very prickly and are a threat to pastures and natural areas.

Black swallow-wort is a viney milkweed that overtakes sunny and shady habitats and is toxic to monarch butterflies.

Palmer amaranth is a noxious weed of row crops.

Poison hemlock is a highly toxic plant that looks like wild carrot and grows in moist areas and along rights-of-way.

Collaboration with agencies and organizations including county agricultural inspectors, township supervisors and mayors helps the MDA detect noxious weeds on the eradicate list and confirm unrecognized species.

To report a noxious weed, contact the MDA Arrest the Pest Line at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us, email arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or call 1-888-545-6684.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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