One of the first plant scary short stories was ushered into the world not by Edgar Allan Poe or Arthur Machen or H. G. Wells, but rather from a relatively unknown horror writer by the name of Fred White. "The Purple Terror" was published by the august English magazine The Strand Magazine in 1898. The editors were unafraid to publish supernatural fiction. Some of its published authors included H. G. Wells, Elizabeth Nesbit and Rudyard Kipling. Then, or course, The Strand Magazine embraced the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. At its peak the magazine reached a circulation of half a million copies thanks in large part to these excellent short story writers.
Frederick M. White helped sell many copies of The Strand Magazine when his 1898 plant horror short story was published. He was born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, UK and would later go on to find a modicum of fame in the classic science fiction genre by publishing his Doom of London collection of tales.
Given its rightful place as one of the first plant horror tales and the ghastly result of the story, I am placing it in spot 12 of my countdown of the best horror short stories published from 1850-1899. Enjoy and stay away from evil poppy trees.