Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Surprising Sprout Reaches for the Sky

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Surprising Sprout Reaches for the Sky

Article excerpt

Byline: Mary Maraghy, Clay County Line staff writer

Orange Park resident Virginia McCampbell said she was astonished when an ordinary-looking plant in her front yard sprouted a bionic-looking stalk in the spring.

"Surely this plant was the inspiration behind Jack and the Bean Stalk," said McCampbell of Azalea Lane, gazing up at the 40-foot stalk.

McCampbell said the stalk sprouted from the center of a grayish cactus-like plant at the end of her driveway in the spring. The plant was there when she moved into the home 10 years ago, but this is the first time it has ever grown like this.

The stalk continued to grow -- about 4 inches per day, according to her tape measure -- and now it towers above nearby telephone poles, causing motorists to stop and gawk.

"It's the craziest thing. I had never heard of such a thing," she said. "I guess many others haven't either because they keep ringing my doorbell. It is so funny. They all say, 'What is that? …

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