Source: Ashe Schow
Weeks before the government warned Americans not to plant the mysterious, unsolicited seeds from China that started appearing in their mailboxes, a man in Booneville, Arkansas planted the seeds in his garden.
Doyle Crenshaw’s story was covered in the media earlier this month when he planted the seeds and discovered they grew squash-like fruit.
“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 Grow on it and they just started growing like crazy,” Crenshaw told CBS-TV affiliate KSFM.
After Crenshaw’s story was reported, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture announced it would remove the plant to study it.
“Our concern is from an invasive-pest aspect: These seeds could introduce an invasive weed or an invasive insect pest or a plant disease,” spokesman Scott Bray told the outlet at the time.
Fox News reported this week that the Arkansas Department of Agriculture “incinerated” the plant after figuring determining its species.
“Department staff performed an unofficial identification of the plants and determined that it was Benincasa hispida – common name: Wax Gourd, Winter Melon, Chinese Watermelon. Out of an abundance of caution the plant material was incinerated,” Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Public Information Manager Anna Thrash told the outlet in an email. “After further discussion with our USDA partners we will be transferring plant material collected in the future to them for official identification.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been working with state officials to identify the seeds that have been sent to Americans.
“The seeds APHIS has identified so far are not uniform or of any particular type. They include a mixture of ornamental, fruit and vegetable, herb, and weed seeds,” a USDA spokesperson told Fox News in an email. “Some of the species identified include cabbage, broccoli, kale, celery, coriander, cilantro, sunflower, Ivyleaf Morning-Glory, Lavender, Basil, Rose, and Garden Tomato.”
The outlet reported that Americans have sent more than 9,000 emails to the USDA about the mystery seeds.
“Of the seeds that have been tested, nothing overly sinister has been found. But, the USDA acknowledged it has only a checked a small percentage of what it received,” Fox reported.
The Daily Wire’s Joe Curl previously reported that the seeds had been sent all over the country. People in Indiana, Texas, Utah, and Virginia have also reported getting seeds. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released a statement regarding the seeds in early August:
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has been notified that several Virginia residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.
Please do not plant these seeds. VDACS encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appears to have Chinese origin to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services (OPIS) at 804.786.3515 or through the ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov email.
Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.