A rare plant has just reappeared, which was noticed in a Norfolk ‘ghost pond’ recently, making it the first one seen in a century.
The existence of this plant could lead to the potential rediscovery of other hidden plants lost in the recent history of England; this also gives some hope to conservation botanists.
The plant, which is also referred to as grass-poly and sporting pinkish-white petals, was seen growing in Norfolk on an old farmland pond. Immediately Professor Carl Sayer saw this rare plant, he snapped it and sent it to his friend Dr. Jo Parmenter (a local botanist), who confirmed that the plant was a rare one.
I never ever expected to see it in Norfolk; it was quite extraordinary. I saw a photo and straight away I thought, I know what you are.Dr. Jo
This is the first time the plant was seen the Norfolk county in over 100 years, and the scientists concluded that the seeds must have lain dormant for over a century before restoration work on the pond created the soil conditions that allowed the seed to finally germinate.
Effectively “coming back from the dead,” nearby willows were uprooted to help restore the pond before the sunlight was able to penetrate deep enough to reach the seed.
When referring to an endangered species, people usually picture flagship animals like the rhino, panda, or tiger. However, plants could be endangered as well, and the grass-poly is certainly included among this category.
Professor Sayer, part of the University College London’s Pond Restoration Research Group, imagines that if Norfolk’s thousands of wild ponds can be restored, more “missing, presumed dead” species may emerge once again.
Yet in both England and the United States, the restoration of pond and river is becoming a very active undertaken form of conservation, as a result of the keystone aspect of rivers and ponds for local wildlife.