‘IT was like something from The Day of the Triffids’ joked a Haddenham man after a mystery poisonous hallucinogenic plant sprouted in his garden.
Harvey Linke, 53, of Slave Hill, said he became ‘slighty alarmed’ when the Datura stramonium – which he had not planted – reached three feet high and started sprouting green pods with spikes.
A spokesman for the Royal Horticultural Society said he did the correct thing by destroying the plant – which is the inspiration for a scene in Harry Potter and the Philososhper’s Stone where a plant keeps growing and strangles all those it comes into contact with.
Mr Linke, who runs an internet marketing business from home, said: “I got some plants from a garden centre and there was some fresh earth put in with them.
“Out of nowhere appeared this plant that I hadn’t purchased from the garden centre.
“It just started to grow very quickly.
“I discussed it with my wife, and said ‘look what is growing here, you don’t remember buying it do you?’
“She said ‘no’.
“It was growing quickly, from nothing in July to about three foot by the end of September.”
After identifying the plant as potentially dangerous, Mr Linke dug it up and got rid of it.
Horticultural advisor Helen Bostock added: “It originates in the Americas, but is recognised in parts of Europe – it is an annual plant and always dies off in the winter, so for that reason grows very quickly.”