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Last Updated: Monday, 11 April, 2005, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Damaged rare orchid 'blossoming'
Lady's Slipper Orchid - copyright Lynne Farrell English Nature
The Lady's Slipper is the rarest orchid in the UK
A rare flower - part of which was stolen from a golf club in Lancashire - is showing signs of regrowth.

The Lady's Slipper orchid, worth about 2,000, was taken by thieves from Silverdale Golf Club in July last year. It is thought it was stolen to order.

But English Nature says the roots of the yellow and maroon flower survived the theft and three buds are sprouting.

The Lady slipper - Cypripedium calceolus - is believed to be the rarest orchid in the UK.

More planting

It is thought the theft took place after the flower's summer flowering period, when it is protected by a warden.

Rob Petley-Jones, from English Nature, told BBC News: "We held off inspecting it, just in case we disturbed any growth, but there are definitely buds there now. It is better than we expected.

"It thrives in UK conditions - wet winters and warm summers."

Mr Petley-Jones said English Nature is currently involved in a programme of reintroducing more of the Lady Slipper orchid to the wild.

Rare flower stolen from golf club
21 Jul 04 |  Lancashire
Plant thieves warned off
14 May 03 |  Science/Nature
English meadows 'declining fast'
13 May 02 |  Science/Nature
Plant thefts growing warn police
18 Feb 01 |  Scotland


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