It’s time to start planting, but take care of the seeds you use.
Local invasive species experts advise that several packets advertising wildflower mixes may come with destructive non-native plants or noxious weeds.
A University of Washington study found out of 19 seed packets, three to 13 contained invasive species, and eight had seeds for plants considered noxious weeds in at least one U.S. state or Canadian province.
“Every plant is native to someplace, but that place may not be here,” Lori Seele, coordinator of the Duluth Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, said in a news release.
So, closely examine labels claiming “native” seeds.
Use seeds from local, native plant sellers, and choose species that have evolved for local conditions. Visit the Minnesota DNR for a list of approved suppliers that meet Minnesota Crop Improvement Association requirements.
Some trusted local resources are the Wild Ones group, and the Duluth Garden and Flower Society annual plant sale. The latter starts at 8 a.m. May 29 in the Rose Garden parking lot, 12th Avenue East and London Road.
Also, a Pollinator Marketplace is scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 12 in the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church (coppertop) at 230 E. Skyline Pkwy.