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What Happened When A Man Planted Mystery Seeds From China

What Happened When A Man Planted Mystery Seeds From China

People in the US were sent mystery seeds from China that they definitely did not order - and look what they grew into

Beth Cunliffe

Beth Cunliffe

People in the US were sent mystery seeds from China that they definitely did not order - and one guy decided to plant them to see what would happen.

'But wait,' I can hear you asking. 'What mystery seeds? Why?' OK, let's recap.

Cast your mind back, if you can, to summer 2020, as a number of people in the US reported mystery packages of unidentified seeds having appeared through their letterbox - and they appeared to be from China.

Nobody knew why they were being sent or who had specifically sent them, but once word got out, US officials told people not to plant them.

5 News

However, Doyle Crenshawn missed the memo and made some room for the seeds in his garden.

What's the worst that could happen?

Last July, green-fingered Doyle revealed that while the plant is yet to be identified, his seeds grew into white fruit and orange flowers.

Some people compared the results to a squash plant, while authorities inevitably want to carry out tests.

5 News

People were warned not to plant the mystery seeds as officials were worried they could contain invasive species that could potentially pose a risk to the country's flora and fauna.

Doyle, who lives in Arkansas, was pretty pleased with the results of his batch.

He told 5 News: "Every two weeks I'd come by and put Miracle-Gro on it, and they just started growing like crazy."

He added: "The package said it was from China and said 'studded earrings' on the outside, and we thought that was a little odd."

However, his satisfaction proved to be short-lived. On 21 August of last year, Mark Stoll of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (ADA) told KATV that Doyle's plants had been confiscated and burned.

After all that effort, as well!

Explaining why people were urged not to plant them, Scott Bray of the ADA said: "Our concern is from an invasive-pest aspect; these seeds could introduce an invasive weed or an invasive insect pest or a plant disease."

But the US Department of Agriculture reckons the seeds might actually have been part of a 'brushing scam' - a ploy in which someone aims to boost their product ratings by sending an inexpensive item to an unwitting person and then posting a fake review on that person's behalf.

A post on Whitehouse Police Department's Facebook warned: "Although not directly dangerous, we would still prefer that people contact us to properly dispose of the seeds."


It wasn't just Arkansas either - warnings were issued across all 50 states, with at least 630 instances in Florida alone.

In Texas, around 200 residents received the packages.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told Fox 4: "We don't want people opening those up, don't put them in the mail, certainly don't plant them. Contact us. Let us pick them up. Treat them like they are radioactive like they are Kryptonite."

Featured Image Credit: 5 News

Topics: US News, Weird