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Plant Grown From Mystery China Seeds to Be Removed After Man Says It’s ‘Growing Like Crazy’

An Arkansas man who sowed mystery seeds he received from China has revealed the resulting plant is “growing like crazy.” The local Department of Agriculture is set to remove the plant from his property for further study.

Doyle Crenshaw of Booneville told 5 News: “We brought them down here and planted the seeds just to see what would happen, every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle-Gro on it and they just started growing like crazy.”

Crenshaw told The New York Times that he had ordered blue zinnia seeds from Amazon, but received the unidentified seeds in a package labeled as containing studded earrings. Crenshaw said: “It’s a really pretty plant. It looks like a giant squash plant.”

Mysterious packets of unidentified seeds from China have been sent to addresses across the U.S. and Canada. On Monday, the USDA said that it had identified some of the seeds that Americans have received from China.

Osama El-Lissy, a member of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said: “We have identified 14 different species of seeds, including mustard, cabbage, morning glory and some herbs, like mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, and then other seeds like hibiscus and roses.”

The USDA said in a statement that they believe that the seeds are being mailed as part of a “brushing scam,” which involves a seller sending a buyer an unsolicited item to then post a fake customer review and boost sales.

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The statement said: “USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.”

While some seeds have been identified, the USDA is encouraging anyone who receives a packet of unsolicited seeds to mail them to a State or Federal agriculture office instead of planting them.

However, China has asked the U.S. to return the mystery seeds so that they can conduct an investigation. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a news briefing: “Plant seeds are articles prohibited as imports or in transit or admitted conditionally for UPU [Universal Postal Union] member countries.

“China Post strictly follows the UPU provisions and prohibits seeds from conveyance by post. USPS [United States Postal Service] recently found some packages of seeds with address labels suggesting they were sent from China.”

Multiple states, including Arizona, Virginia, Washington, Louisiana, Kansas, Utah and Ohio, have all reported residents receiving unidentified seeds from China since July.

People across the U.S. have been receiving unsolicited mystery seeds from China in what the USDA believes is a so-called "brushing" scam.

Man plants mystery seeds from China — here’s what happened

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An Arkansas man who received one of the mysterious seed packages sent to thousands of US residents from China planted them on his property — and said the results are wild.

“We … planted the seeds just to see what would happen,’’ Booneville resident Doyle Crenshawn told local CBS-TV affiliate KSFM.

The plant is producing large white fruit from orange flowers that resemble those of a squash.

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“Every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle-Gro on it, and they just started growing like crazy,’’ Crenshawn said.

The man planted the seeds before US agriculture officials issued a dire warning to recipients not to put them in the ground, the station 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,” Scott Bray of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture told the outlet.

US residents in all 50 states reported getting the bizarre, unsolicited seed packages beginning last month.

The handful of seeds arrive in little sealed clear plastic pouches and are tucked in standard-size light gray or beige envelopes — sometimes labeled as jewelry.

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“The package said it was from China and said ‘studded earrings’ on the outside, and we thought that was a little odd,” Crenshaw acknowledged of his batch.

It is unclear who is behind the packages, but US agriculture officials have said they believe the seeds may be part of a “brushing scam” — in which people receive goods they never ordered and the sender then posts a fake customer review in their name to boost sales.

US agriculture officials are urging recipients to keep the seeds sealed and call them so they can pick them up.

An Arkansas man who received one of the mysterious seed packages sent to thousands of US residents from China planted them on his property — and said the results are wild.