Rare orchids found in City of London bank’s rooftop garden

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A colony of rare orchids has been discovered growing on the rooftop of an office building in the City of London.

It is the first time the small-flowered tongue-orchid has been seen in the UK since arriving in Cornwall in 1989.

Serapias parviflora is generally found in the Mediterranean basin and Atlantic coast of France, Spain and Portugal.

The 15 plants growing in Nomura International’s 11th-floor garden represent the entire known wild UK colony of the species.

The joy of the previous colony’s discovery, at Rame Head in Cornwall in 1989, was in sharp contrast to the pain felt when it disappeared 20 years later. At this point, the small-flowered tongue-orchid was thought to have become extinct as a wild plant in the UK.

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