Food Market brings news, talk and insight into the food business, from farms to supermarkets to restaurants. Reporters Mike Hughlett and Tom Meersman delve into the work of Minnesota’s food companies and issues such as food safety and labeling.

Toxic weed alert

Posted by: Tom Meersman Updated: July 1, 2014 - 5:47 PM

A highly toxic plant known to be growing in Washington, Dakota and Wabasha counties could be poisonous to livestock and humans if consumed, and state agriculture officials are seeking the public’s help in finding and destroying it.

Grecian foxglove is not native to North America, and both fresh and dried parts of the plant are toxic.

The weed is a perennial that’s been found in roadsides, yards, grasslands and forest margins along the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers.  Residents in those areas are encouraged to look for the weed.

Mature plants are two to five feet tall with creamy white, tubular flowers with purplish lines.  What sets Grecian foxglove apart from common or garden foxglove is the woolly hairs found on the flowering stems and on the undersides of leaves.

Those who see the plant are encouraged to note the location and e-mail digital photos if possible to the  Minnesota Department of Agriculture at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or call 888-545-6684.

Infestations currently known or reported to state officials this summer will be destroyed by Conservation Corps Minnesota in the fall.

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Grecian foxglove in flowering state

Grecian foxglove in flowering state

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