Mystery seeds identified as non-invasive plants, but Minnesota leaders warn residents not to plant them
(FOX 9) - Mystery seed packets sent to Minnesota homes in recent weeks have been identified by the Department of Agriculture, officials said on Friday.
Earlier this week, the department warned about unsolicited seeds sent from China that had been received by Minnesotans and people in other states.
The department urged residents who received the packages not to plant them, warning they could pose a risk to state agriculture and landscapes.
Friday, officials said the MDA laboratory had identified some of the seeds as non-invasive species including cosmos, radish, mung bean, juniper, basil, cucurbit, and zinnia.
While not invasive, the department still warns the seeds could carry disease or pests in the packaging. They are asking anyone who receives a seed packet to:
• Save the seeds and the package they came in, including the mailing label.
• Do not open the seed packets.
• Do not plant any of the seed.
• If the packets are already opened, place all materials (seeds and packaging) into a tightly sealed plastic bag.
• Contact the MDA through this form (mda.state.mn.us/unlabeledseeds).
Federal officials with the USDA believe the incident could be a "brushing scam" -- a scam where an online seller sends out unsolicited items and then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.
If you received unsolicited seeds in the mail and planted them, the state is asking you to destroy any plants.