Tennessee residents warned not to plant unsolicited seeds


Several Virginia residents have informed the department that they have received packages in the mail containing seeds that appear to have come from China. In an email, the department states that the type of seeds in the packages are unknown and “may be invasive plant species.” (photos provided by the VDACS)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is issuing new guidance for anyone who receives seeds in the mail they did not order.

TDA believes the seeds have been shipped from China and some are being shipped in envelopes labeled as beads or jewelry. Citizens are asked to not plant these seeds and instead mail them to TDA for further investigation. Anyone who has planted them is asked to dig up the plants and throw them away.

“While we have no reason at this time to suspect that these seeds were sent with ill intention, we want to take every precaution to be sure an invasive or otherwise threatening plant species doesn’t take hold here,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said.

The USDA believes these seeds may be part of a “brushing scam” meant to generate false customer reviews and boost sales.

Seeds can be mailed to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, attention Plant Certification at P.O. Box 40627, Nashville, TN  37204. FedEx and UPS packages can be mailed to 436 Hogan Road, Nashville, TN  37220. TDA asks you to include the recipient’s name, contact information and full address.

For more information about these seeds, click here.

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