MDA warns residents of toxic weed found in eastern Minnesota

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

click image to zoomMinnesota Department of AgricultureGrecian foxglove. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is asking for the public’s help to find and eliminate Grecian foxglove (Digitalis lanata), a highly toxic plant that is known to be growing in parts of Washington, Dakota, and Wabasha counties.

Grecian foxglove is not native to North America, having come from central and southern Europe. The weed is poisonous, and both fresh and dried plant parts are toxic. The greatest concern is the potentially lethal threat of human and livestock poisoning. The leafy portions of Grecian foxglove could be mistaken for lettuce or other leafy greens, and the plant has even been found growing in a homeowner’s vegetable garden.

The weed is a perennial plant and will come back year after year if it isn’t treated. It’s known to be growing in roadsides, residential yards, grasslands, and forest margins along the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. Residents in those areas are encouraged to look for the weed and report any sighting to the MDA.

What does Grecian foxglove look like?

  • In its first year, the weed seedling looks like a green rosette with no flowers.
  • Mature plants are two to five feet tall with creamy white, tubular flowers with purplish lines.
  • Leaves are simple, alternate, oblong-shaped, and about six inches long with a pointed tip. What sets Grecian foxglove apart from common or garden foxglove is both the flowering stems and undersides of the Grecian foxglove leaves have woolly hairs.

What to do if you see Grecian foxglove:

  • Note the exact location.
  • If possible, take digital photos of the whole plant, rosettes, flowers and seed stalks that can be emailed for identification.
  • Contact the MDA by e-mail at or voicemail at 888-545-6684.

The MDA has teamed up with local and state partners to rid Minnesota of this toxic weed. Currently known infestations, and those reported to the MDA throughout the summer, will be treated by Conservation Corps Minnesota in the fall.

This work is funded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Declining Weigh Blending System

Ranco Declining Weigh (DW) is the standard in fertilizer blending because of the speed and accuracy of the blending process. ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form