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Bought: The Most Expensive Pumpkin Seed Ever

Will an oversize, £1,250 seed be able to produce the world’s largest pumpkin?

Would you pay over a thousand dollars for just one pumpkin seed? (Photo: IvanNedialkov Paparaka/CC BY-SA 3.0)

In a modern day Jack and the Beanstalk tale, a British horticulture company recently spent £1,250 (almost $2,000) on a single pumpkin seed, making it the most expensive pumpkin seed of all time. Why? Well, to grow the world’s largest pumpkin of course.

English mail-order seed company Thompson & Morgan (T&M), bought the giant seed at an auction that took place at the World Pumpkin Commonwealth Conference in 2015. Measuring about two-inches long, and dwarfing the size of a normal pumpkin seed it looks to have about as good a shot of growing a record-breaking pumpkin as any seed ever has, but it also has a respectable pumpkin pedigree. The seed came from one of the largest gourds in the world: a 2,323-pound monster grown by Swedish gardener Beni Meier in 2014, current holder of the record for heaviest pumpkin.

But T&M aren’t leaving their chances at producing a record-breaking pumpkin to, well, chance. On April 13th, they delivered the seed to Matthew Oliver, a horticulturalist with the Royal Horticulture Society, whose own crop has yielded pumpkins weighing upwards of 500 pounds. According to T&M’s website, Oliver expressed some concern about being able to produce a pumpkin that would break the world record since they are growing it outdoors, which makes the growing variables much more unpredictable, but in an interview run on the Independant.ie, T&M horticultural director Paul Hansford expressed his confidence in Oliver, saying, “Matthew’s enthusiasm and devotion for pumpkins was evident.”

Hansford hopes to bring the world record to British shores for the first time, as a pumpkin grown on U.K. soil has never held the title. They’ve got until October 8th to pump that pumpkin up for the official British competition at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival. For now, though, they’ll have to settle for one world record: the most expensive pumpkin seed ever.