And Now There’s Only One

A Lady’s Slipper orchid has been stolen from a golf course in England, one of the last two of its kind found in the wild in Britain. I wrote about the other one in an earlier post (Cypripedium Treasures), though I note that particular article claimed ITS subject was the only one left in Britain. I guess it makes for dramatic effect, though now I wonder exactly how many "last of its kind" orchids there really are in that country. Well, one or two, the effect is no less devastating, and the story is just as shocking.

July 22 2004 at 12:51PM

London – One of only two living examples of Britain’s rarest wild orchid, the lady’s slipper, has been stolen from a golf course where it had delighted plant aficionados for 80 years, officials said on Thursday.

The yellow cup-shaped and purple-petalled plant, visited by 900 enthusiasts this year alone, was snatched from Silverdale Golf Course near Morecambe Bay, northwest England.

"We have no idea whether someone has done it deliberately or accidentally," said Keith Smith, secretary of the golf club.

"In the summer when the thing is flowering we have people with tents there just to watch it because it does not happen very often."

English Nature, an environmental watchdog which protected the orchid site for 20 years, is banking on a slim chance that some of its roots may still be in the soil.

"If all the roots have gone, then we will have lost this lovely plant Nall because of someone’s mindless selfishness and greed," said Peter Corkhill, an orchid expert from the agency.

Only one other example of the lady’s slipper exists in Britain, also in northern England. Visitors, however, are barred from that site for fear of damage to the plant’s habitat. – Sapa-AFP

Link: IOL Website
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