Invasive Weed That Hasn’t Been Seen in the US Since 1958 Appears in Minnesota
An invasive weed called Metaplexis japonica has appeared in northern Minnesota after it hadn't been seen in the United States since 1958. It hasn't been around for 6 decades and now just randomly appeared in Minnesota! Specifically, it was seen in Holdingford, MN. A University of Minnesota Extension Master Naturalist, Sherry Kutter, was the one who found it.
Metaplexis japonica is more commonly known as rough potato, according to Bring Me the News. It's "a type of vining milkweed" that can get out of control and cover-up other vegetation surrounding it. Sherry found the rough potato along the Lake Wobegon Trail in Holdingford.
Bob Dunning is a Stearns County's agricultural inspector. He started tracking where rough potato was located and he discovered it was in more places than they had hoped. Bob said, "I was surprised by the number of locations I found it in once I began scouting for it."
Now there is a plan to get rid of the rough potato and hopefully stop it from spreading elsewhere. Over the next several years more "herbicide treatments and manual removal" will occur. Bring Me the News reports that the Stearns County Parks Department, Conservation Corps Minnesota (CCM), and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) have started to work together to prevent the spread of this invasive weed.