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Roadside Vegetation Management

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Roadside vegetation

View or print full list of Minnesota's noxious weeds (PDF 6 MB).




Common roadside plants


Plant Description
amur maple
Amur Maple

Common roadside plants.



Plants that cause dermatitis


Plant Description Control Status
poison ivy
Poison Ivy - Summer
poison ivy

Poison Ivy -


poison ivy
Poison Ivy - Winter/Spring

Leaves: 3 dull or shiny leaflets, 2-4" long, can be smooth-margined, lobed or irregular toothed, leaves may vary on same plant, bright green, turning orange or red in fall.

Flowers: Not easily seen, found in leaf axils.

Range: Native to MN found statewide.


Comments: DO NOT TOUCH! May cause severe rash in susceptible people. Plant oils can get onto clothing or footwear and cause rash at later date.

Primary Noxious Weed required to be controlled by State Law.
grecian foxglove
Grecian Foxglove - Rosette
grecian foxglove
Grecian Foxglove - Flowering

Leaves: First year basal rosette. Lance-shaped, smooth or slightly hairy. Stem leaves are alternate, narrow, oblong, sessile.

Flowers: Flowers develop 2nd year. In raceme at top of stalk. Individual flowers are snap-dragon shaped. Creamy white lip with purple or brown veined hood. Flowering plant can reach 5-6 feet in height.

Range: Pockets along Eastern border from Stillwater to Afton.

Comments: Produces digoxin that can be absorbed through the skin. Digoxin may cause potentially fatal heart problems. Ingestion can be fatal to cattle or horses

Secondary Noxious Weed required to be controlled in counties which lists Grecian Foxglove on county lists.
wild parsnip
Wild Parsnip - Rosette
wild parsnip
Wild Parsnip - Flowering

Leaves: Pinnately compound, variously toothed.


Flowers: 2-6" flat topped clusters, flowers from June- September, plant turns brown when finished flowering.


Range: Very common in SE MN and spreading throughout the state.


Comments: Avoid this plant. Plant contains "sap" that reacts with ultraviolet rays and causes severe blistering of the skin (photodermatitis).

Not currently listed for control requirements.




Commonly mistaken plants

Many native plants are commonly mistaken for thistle, purple loosestrife, and leafy spurge along MnDOT right-of-way. Don't spray purple - know what you are controlling.



Noxious Weeds

(required to be controlled by state law)

Commonly Mistaken Plants

(not required to be controlled by state law)

canada thistle
Canada Thistle - State Listed Noxious Weed
Monarda (native)


purple loosestrife
Purple Loosestrife - State Listed Noxious Weed
blazing star
Blazing Star (native)
Ironweed (native)
blue vervain
Blue Vervain (native)


leafy spurge
Leafy Spurge - State Listed Noxious Weed
yellow rocket
Yellow Rocket
golden alexander
Golden Alexander (native)


spotted knapweed
Spotted Knapweed - Not a State Listed Noxious Weed, but a very invasive plant that should be controlled