HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- After the community spent hours lamenting the disappearance of a beloved plant, the NCDOT took to Twitter to clear the air.

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NCDOT said crews were sent to remove the "Cone Weed" Monday morning because it was too close to the road.

"They didn't mean to be a Grinch and disrupt a positive community effort," NCDOT tweeted.

NCDOT said it plans to take the cone weed to Huntersville Fire for safe keeping.

Prior to NCDOT stepping forward, Huntersville Fire tried to look into how the decorated plant disappeared from the road.

"We did not see it happen and no one stopped by the fire station to tell us they were removing it," Huntersville Fire said in a Facebook post. "All that’s left is a couple scattered decorations."

The cone weed, which once stood tall inside a traffic cone, grew into a local and national sensation over the course of several weeks.

The town of Huntersville rallied around the weed, as residents decorated the plant with Christmas ornaments and small presents.

One person even dropped off dessert for the firemen in the shape of a cone weed.

The cone weed also inspired firefighters to raise money for a good cause. Huntersville Fire said they raised over $3,700 from selling items related to the cone weed's brand. Firefighters say they donated 100 percent of proceeds to local families in need during the holidays.

Firefighters said they rehung a couple of donations on where the weed once resided.

"Thank you to everyone that helped this Weed movement make a difference in our community," Huntersville Fire said in a Facebook post.

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