seeds

BILLINGS, Mont. - There have been reports of Montanans getting unsolicited packages in the mail from china containing packets of seeds.

We reached out to a local botanist at MSUB to find out why it's important not to plant or throw away any unsolicited seeds you may have received in the mail.

Dr. Jason Comer says the unmarked seeds are potentially invasive species that could cause economic and agricultural harm.

The botanist used leafy spurs as an example to explain how invasive species reduce plant diversity by replacing valuable forage in agricultural and livestock fields.

According to Comer, we should take this seriously, as it takes just one plant to grow into an entire colony.

Comer says not only do we have to be on the lookout for invasive species, but these seeds could carry bugs, eggs and dangerous fungal pathogens.

"We have almost lost the American chestnut to a fungal pathogen that was introduced, their is various bacteria and viruses that could be carried in these seeds that can get into agricultural species and that can decimate entire populations.", said Dr. Comer. 

Comer says it's very difficult to identify unmarked seeds, that's why anyone receiving these unsolicited seeds should contact the United States Department of Agriculture.

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