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Toxic Weed Alert – Beware of Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed has been found in canola fields recently in Barrhead, Leduc and Westlock Counties.

Photos courtesy of Westlock County

Jimsonweed (a.k.a Devil’s Trumpet) is a serious weed in cultivated land in the United States and eastern Canada. The plant has toxic effects that have resulted in death to livestock and humans that ingest it.

Plant: The plant has smooth thick red to purple stems that can reach 2 meters tall. Leaves have irregular toothed margins 10-20 cm long. Flowers are white to purplish, 5 point trumpet shape, 7-10 cm long. Seed pod is 2-5cm wide, has spines, is egg shaped and may contain up to 600-700 seeds per capsule. The seed capsule will explode expelling the seeds once mature. Has distinctive sour repulsive odour.

Where to Find This Weed:
This invasive weed has been showing up in canola fields. Jimsonweed has been reported recently in Barrhead, Leduc and Westlock Counties while producers are swathing canola.

Jimsonweed seed is difficult to clean from canola, removal prior to combining is recomended. Jimsonweed should be pulled from fields prior to swathing down, once cut the seed capsules may mature into viable seeds for next year. When hand pulling, wear gloves and long sleeves and double bag the plants for the landfill disposal. In this year of feed shortages, canola stubble should not be baled up for feed where plants have been found. These practices will increases risk for poisoning in livestock feed. Do not compost. Do not burn, as this will release toxins in the air and may cause secondary poisoning.

Early detection and eradication is very important to stop the spread.

Please report any sightings to Nicole Kimmel, Weed Specialist, Agriculture & Forestry at (780) 422 0885 or nicole.kimmel@gov.ab.ca.