A pensioner watched in amazement as a rare shrub suddenly sprouted up as high as the bedroom window.

Jean Colquhoun, from Eastdeane Avenue, Epsom, contacted this newspaper after reading about a similar "giant beanstalk of suburbia" in the Daily Mail.

Ms Colquhoun planted the agave about five years ago, but the towering stem has only shot up within just two months.

She said: "I thought what is it? It just grew and grew and grew. It’s grown overnight. It’s amazing, absolutely amazing the way it has grown."

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Ms Colquhoun said she had no idea what lay in store when a neighbour gave her a few little roots about five years ago.

She said: "It’s in the centre of my lawn in the front. I dug a little hole and threw it in. They must like rough ground."

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The agave - a native Mexico plant whose sap is used distilled to make tequila - has now become a local landmark.

She said: "People stop and stare at it. I see people going by stopping and looking. Next door are amazed at how it’s grown."

The plant is flowering at the moment and after that Ms Colquhoun says it will probably dry-up and die.

The Daily Mail reported that a couple in Devon bought an agave Americana at a garden centre eight years ago.

It remained dormant for years but suddenly burst into life and grew to 20 ft in a matter of weeks.

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