An Arkansas man said he grew the ‘mystery seeds’ from China in his garden before agriculture officials warned against planting them

Not the ‘mystery seeds’ in question. Tim Greenway/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
  • An Arkansas man recently told the local news outlet 5News that he’d planted the mysterious seeds that Americans have reported receiving.
  • Doyle Crenshaw said he planted the seeds two months ago. Last week, the US Department of Agriculture warned against doing so, since they could be invasive species.
  • The state’s agricultural agency plans to remove the plant, 5News reported.
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An Arkansas man recently said he planted mysterious seeds he received before hearing the US Department of Agriculture’s warning against doing so.

People across the country have reported receiving seeds in packages appearing to come from China – and sometimes marked as jewellery – that they did not order. Last Thursday, the USDA said it was investigating the seeds and advised people who received them to contact their local agricultural officials.

But Doyle Crenshaw told the local CBS affiliate 5News that he planted the seeds two months ago.

“We brought them down here and planted the seeds just to see what would happen,” Crenshaw said. “Every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle Grow on it and they just started growing like crazy.”

The seeds grew into a squash-like plant with white fruit and orange flowers, the 5News report said. Crenshaw told the outlet that the seeds came in a package that appeared to be from China and was labelled as “‘studded earrings.”

Scott Bray of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture told 5News that the seeds “could introduce an invasive weed, or an invasive insect pest or a plant disease.”

The report said the local agriculture department planned to remove the mysterious plant from Crenshaw’s garden.

On July 29, Osama El-Lissy, a deputy administrator for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the agency had identified 14 species of seeds, including common herbs such as rosemary and sage, in the unsolicited packages.

On Monday, the USDA issued instructions for mailing the seeds to specific state locations for further evaluation.