Someone call Professor Sprout! Harry Potter’s poisonous ‘screaming mandrakes’ found at Walsingham allotment

Dr Anne Edwards identified the plant as the poisonous climbing hedgerow White Bryony, the inspiratio

Dr Anne Edwards identified the plant as the poisonous climbing hedgerow White Bryony, the inspiration for @jk_rowling's screaming mandrake. Picture: @JohnInnesCentre - Credit: Archant

An allotment holder in a quiet north-Norfolk village was left stunned this week when his patch was cursed by the poisonous plant that inspired JK Rowling's screaming mandrake in the Harry Potter books.

The wild plant is called white bryony and is also known as false mandrake or English mandrake, and was identified by the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

The centre tweeted: 'This morning we received some photographs in the post of a new plant to spring up at Walsingham allotment from a concerned gardener.

'Dr Anne Edwards identified them as the poisonous climbing hedgerow white bryony, the inspiration for @jk_rowling's screaming mandrake.'

Dr Anne Edwards said: 'The plant is in the same family as cucumber. It has a large tuberous root which can look a bit like a parsnip.

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'All parts of the part are poisonous and if eaten will cause severe illness or death.

'The white bryony is related to the mandrake which did feature in the Harry Potter films.'

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The screaming mandrake featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets during Professor Sprout's herbology lessons for second year students. It also helped cure pupils petrified by the opening of the chamber. The scream of a mature mandrake is deadly to anyone that hears it.

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