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Extension > Garden > SULIS > Maintenance > Sustainable Lawncare Information Series > Weed Management > Noxious and Invasive Weeds

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Noxious and Invasive Weeds

Some plants, due to their ability to cause animal or human health issues, or are potentially damaging to the environment are often termed noxious weeds. In Minnesota, there is a Noxious Weed Law administered through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA, 

There are three types of noxious weeds in Minnesota:

  • Prohibited
  • Restricted
  • Secondary

More information about these three categories and the plants included in each one can be found at the abovementioned MDA website. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is one example of a plant on the MDA’s noxious weed list (Fig. 10.5).


Figure 10.5. Cirsium arvensis is on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s noxious weed list.

Although there is no legal definition in Minnesota of weedy plants considered to be invasive, as is the case with noxious weeds, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Invasive Terrestrial Plants list does mention 36 species of plants known to have invasive characteristics. More information about MN DNR’s Invasive Plants program along with the list of plants considered to be invasive can be found at

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture also has information on invasive species in Minnesota. Visit Profiles and Identification for a list of invasive species.

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