Invasion of the Orchids

12 May

from National Geographic

“…hidden in a wooded marsh directly across the street, curious road trippers would find an even more startling deposit: Millions of orchids have been thriving for over 60 years on the blighted industrial waste site.

That includes staggering amounts of native terrestrial orchids, such as the rose pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides) and the grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus). The site also boasts the state’s largest collection of threatened pink shinleaf (Pyrola asarifolia)”

“However, the orchids’ future on the site is uncertain. An invasive species of reed called phragmites threatens to engulf the entire area. It now occupies almost nine acres and is expanding at a rate of 3 percent a year. Though the Benson Mines orchids appeared and thrived without human assistance, Bader says intervention is probably now required to maintain the site’s rich diversity.”

How could these plants possibly have made it this far without human assistance?

“The tailings pile itself is also a precious economic resource. The millions of tons of granite-based aggregate rock at and around the mines can be used for a variety of purposes, including infill, pavers, kitchen counters, and fortification rubble for shorelines.”

Precious rubble “resources”! Out of the way, orchids!

One Response to “Invasion of the Orchids”

  1. donesoverydone 2016/05/12 at 10:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on things I've read or intend to.


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