Today’s Solutions: October 16, 2021

Until this week, the small-flowered tongue-orchid hadn’t been seen in the UK in over 30 years. That all changed when a colony of the small orchids was found on a London rooftop, a shock to its owners and naturalists. 

The collection of 15 delicate blooms was found in Nomura International’s 11th-floor garden. Nobody is quite sure how it got there, but botanists believe it is the only known wild UK colony of the species. Nomura’s ecologist Mark Patterson believes wind could have carried the seeds to the rooftop. He told BBC, “The plants could have originated on the continent and been brought over the Channel on southerly winds which frequently bring Saharan dust deposits to the capital.”

The small-flowered tongue-orchid, or Serapias parviflora, is native to the Mediterranean basin and Atlantic coast of France, Spain, and Portugal. The rooftop garden where it was found is home to 159 species of plants and 17 species of bees. Botanists note that the warm urban heat island effect on the rooftop makes the perfect conditions for the rare orchid which is more commonly found further south. 

Plant enthusiasts are celebrating the blooms and their appearance offers even further evidence for the benefits of urban rooftop gardens which also help reduce the heat island effect, clean water, purify the air, and provide locally-grown produce. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

This therapeutic plant could help reduce morphine tolerance and opiate addiction

Opioid overdoses are on the rise in the US and around the world, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Addiction treatment, harm reduction, and improved health access are all effective strategies for addressing ... Read More

New treatment kills cancer cells in terminally ill patients

There are about 12,200 new head and neck cancer cases in the UK every year, and many of these patients are diagnosed at advanced stages when the disease is very difficult to treat. The standard ... Read More

6 Ways we can help our dogs live long and healthy lives

Research has shown that having a dog can help boost our physical and mental health as well as make us feel younger. Pets are an enormous source of joy and comfort, and as dog parents, ... Read More

Grauer’s gorilla population makes surprising comeback in DRC

A recent study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has good news for gorillas. The study found that the number of Grauer’s gorillas, the world’s largest gorilla subspecies, has increased from 6,800 compared to ... Read More

New Zealand opens unusual vaccination destination for the weekend

New Zealand is getting an unconventional Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the form of a Boeing 787 plane. The winged vaccination site is being operated by Air New Zealand this weekend as part of the government’s ... Read More