Poisonous Jimsonweed Spotted in Alberta

Poisonous Jimsonweed Spotted in Alberta Ag & Waste Department urges farmers to be on the lookout for “ Devil ’ s Trumpet ”.

Matt Janz, Director of the Municipal District of Bonnyville’s Agriculture and Waste Department is urging farmers to be on the lookout for Jimsonweed. While there have been no reports of the poisonous weed in the M.D., the plant (aka Devil’s Trumpet) has been spotted in canola fields in Central Alberta. It has caused death in humans and cattle that have ingested it. “It’s new to Alberta,” Janz said. “The authorities are looking into it, and believe it made it into Alberta via canola seed from the U.S.”

Jimsonweed can stand up to five feet tall. The seed pod can be up to two inches, and has spikes surrounding it. The bloom of the Jimsonweed is purple and white and shaped like a trumpet – hence the name Devil’s Trumpet. “This is when farmers will see it, when they’re out swathing canola fields,” he said. “If you do see it, don’t touch it with bare hands.”

Janz encourages farmers who find the weed to contact the Ag and Waste Department at 780-8263951 to have someone come and remove it.

*Press Release from MD of Bonnyville

 

Background 

Jimsonweed – Not Common to Alberta
ALL PARTS OF THE PLANT ARE POISONOUS
Concern: 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.
Control: 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 [email protected]

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