Illegal opium poppy spotted in Japan — by 3-year-old plant enthusiast (video)

A 3-year-old boy in Japan with a strong interest in plants was honored by police after he discovered an illegal opium plant growing in an open field.

The young plant enthusiast, who runs to his botanical book whenever he stumbles upon a plant he doesn't recognize, was on a walk with his mom when he noticed some beautiful purple flowers that he'd never seen before. Without his book on hand, he asked his mom to look up his new discovery her phone — and, according to NHK News, they turned out to be atsumigeshi, an opium poppy that's been banned in Japan.

"I thought people shouldn't touch the plant," said the boy, who happily accepted an award at the police station for his keen observation while dressed in a toddler-sized police uniform. (See video below, posted by NHK.)

Although only three, NHK says his passion for plants began "at an even younger age" and that "he observes flowers blooming in the garden of his grandparents' house and at a park almost every day."

Previously: Oops, man panics and snitches on himself about $500 million opium poppy field