They could be invasive species.
While gardening may have become a hobby for some Canadians during this time, there are still precautions that need to be taken. The government is warning people about unsolicited seeds they may have received in the mail. They are adamant that they not be planted.
In a July 28 tweet, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency shared a photo of one of the mysterious seed packages, with the message, “Did you receive unsolicited seeds? Contact your regional CFIA office right away. We are investigating. Do not plant the seeds.”
The tweet included a link to an official statement from the agency on their website, which provides information on why planting unlabelled, unsolicited seeds can be a very bad idea.
“Unauthorized seeds could be the seeds of invasive plants, or carry plant pests, which can be harmful when introduced into Canada,” the statement reads.
“These species can invade agricultural and natural areas, causing serious damage to our plant resources.”
The tweet also included a link to a list of regional CFIA offices to contact if you did receive one of these packages.
Canadians who may have gotten one in the mail are advised to keep the seeds, as well as the packaging and mailing label until a CFIA official contacts them with further instructions.
Similar packages seem to be showing up in the United States as well.
CFIA retweeted a message from user @M_Marcotte76, which quoted a tweet from the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
“We have received reports of people receiving seeds from China that they did not order,” the tweet reads, “If you receive them – don’t plant them.”
The tweet also included a photo of one of these packages, although the seeds in question appear different from the ones in the CFIA tweet.
Any kind of invasive species, whether they be plants or animals, can be incredibly detrimental to local ecosystems.
Toronto is dealing with an influx of Wild Parsnip plants along its nature trails. These plants can cause serious skin irritation and are being removed by the city.