Since the year began, the number of thefts have dramatically increased, pharmaceutical industry paper Pharmazeutische Zeitung reported.
“We’ve recognized the phenomenon of hydrangea theft for at least ten years,” spokesperson for the Lower Saxony state criminal police (LKA) Frank Federau told the paper. “The numbers usually rise in spring.”
Longer days bring out the blue, purple and pink blooms on the shrubs, which reach their main flowering season between February and May.
But apparently members of what the paper called the “cannabis scene” enjoy smoking the plant’s young shoots.
Though smoking the plant is not illegal, stealing them is, Federau said.
He also said he doubted that smoking the plant created a high as intense as marijuana. Furthermore, anyone considering such an experiment should know that the plant contains a cyanide compound that can be poisonous, he said.