Mystery seeds from China arrive in Minnesota mailboxes - do not plant them

An example of a mysterious package of seeds sent to a Minnesotan from a Chinese sender. (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)

Minnesotans reported receiving mysterious packages of seeds from China, leading the Department of Agriculture to issue a warning Monday.

Officials say unsolicited packages of seeds are arriving by mail to people in Minnesota, Louisiana, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

The Department of Agriculture urged recipients to not plant the seeds and to contact the MDA if they receive the package.

“We’re uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving these unsolicited packages,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “Until we know more, we encourage people to contact us because of the risk they may pose to Minnesota agriculture and our natural landscapes.”

If you receive a package, the MDA asks you to save the package and its contents, to not plant the seeds and to contact the Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or If you choose to email, please provide your name, contact information and the date the package was received.

The MDA says it is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program to identify and destroy the seeds.