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Just in time for the release of Harry Potter…

by Dana Lancer
Freelance Writer

The University of Nostradamus Agronomy Laboratories have issued a statement admitting as “ill-advised” their release into the wild of an invasive, highly prolific plant that can consume the flesh of any animal, humans included.

The plant, prunus packerensis carnrivorus tuberosa, has already been observed growing as a virulent weed throughout central and northern Indiana, Illinois and southern Michigan.

It has no natural predators,” explained Griffin Blackheart, Director of Research at the highly regarded facility. “Or rather, it would have predators if it didn’t always eat them first. So you can see the challenges involved in trying to control it.”

While no human deaths have been attributed to the plant, colloquially known as Daumer Weed, several farmers have reported losing fingers while attempting to clear the plants by hand. Rural and suburban communities throughout the region have begun to blame a dramatic increase in disappearance of pets on the weed’s spread.

The plant was originally developed by the university’s labs as part of a cooperative project funded by Mondiablo Inc., makers of agricultural chemicals, most notably pesticides.

In a formal statement, Damian Cudgel, Mondiablo’s Director of Public Information, noted, “We saw this as a fantastic opportunity to respond to growing public sentiment against agricultural chemicals: an all-natural form of pest control, if you will. We certainly couldn’t have predicted this unfortunate turn of events.”

Yes, we admit our mistake,” says Blackheart. “Of course this doesn’t lessen the university’s commitment to sound agricultural policy and responsible research. Nor does it reflect negatively in any way on the integrity of our technicians.”

When pressed on this point one of the labs’ senior researchers, Dr. Seymour Krellburn, admitted that the release was “probably unintended…Actually, someone just accidently dumped the wrong packet of seed into the manure bin. It could have happened anywhere.”

According to Nostradamus’s Community Relations department, the Agronomy Labs and

Mondiablo are already at work to prevent the weed from becoming a national crisis. The plan is to develop of a highly selective herbicide, provisionally named “Agent Green,” that can be spread by earthworms and possibly by ants—to be introduced via the plant’s roots.

Frankly, this had better work,” said Krellburn. “If it doesn’t, we’ll all be manure.”