Residents in 3 states receive unidentified seeds

A number of people in three states have received packages of random, unidentified seeds from China, according to local and federal agriculture officials.

“We received reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order,” officials with the Washington State Department of Agriculture noted on July 24.

“The seeds are sent in packages usually stating that the contents are jewelry. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock.”

The seeds, officials said, often come in sealed packages, and people should not open the packages. Instead, they are asked to report receiving the seeds to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for possible agricultural smuggling.

WSDA officials advised that the packets can be sealed in a Ziploc bag and placed in the regular garbage.

“We do not need to collect the seeds,” WSDA Plant Services officials noted.” We are working with USDA and the departments of agriculture from other states on this risk to the environment and agriculture.”

Clallam County Master Gardener Jeanette Stehr-Green said that even if the gardener recognizes the seed as belonging to a certain type of plant, planting seeds from an unknown source isn’t a good idea.

“The variety of the plant is very difficult to tell from most seeds; it may or may not be a variety that does well locally,” she said.

“Furthermore, there will be no insights as to reliability/reputability of the supplier and whether seeds from the source are of good quality and have been handled in a manner that will result in good germination rates.”

Stehr-Green added that the seeds could be treated with some unknown chemical to control pests or the packet could include contaminants such as inert matter, weed seed or other crops.

“Planting these seeds could therefore be a waste of the gardeners time and garden space,” she said. “They might also introduce weeds into the garden or unwanted chemicals for those using organic gardening methods.”

More in Life

Parenting In Focus: Know your neighbors

I recently moved to a different neighborhood. It really is different. Before… Continue reading

Off the Shelf: Finding a new book

Looking for a great new read to while away a summer day?… Continue reading

NOLS hosts virtual reading groups in August

Local library reading groups are going virtual this August. The North Olympic… Continue reading

Larsen to explain how to grow organic garlic

In the upcoming Green Thumbs Garden Tips series, Pam Larsen presents “Growing… Continue reading

Get It Growing: August in the garden

August is usually the hottest month on the Olympic Peninsula; hopefully this… Continue reading

Community Calendar — Aug. 5, 2020

Deadline for items appearing in the community calendar is noon on Wednesday,… Continue reading

City of Sequim to host ‘Fluidity’ exhibit

The City Arts Advisory Commission’s “Fluidity,” a digital exhibit, will be displayed… Continue reading

Veteran artists highlight Blue Whole Gallery’s August exhibit

Longtime peninsula artists Sally Cays and Jeannine Chappell are in the spotlight… Continue reading

A&E briefs — Aug. 5, 2020

Black Diamond Junction featured at eighth ‘Music Where You Park’ Black Diamond… Continue reading

Most Read