Orchid fever: a horticultural tale of love, lust, and lunacy
A seductive journey into the obsessive, outrageous, and mesmerizing world of orchids. From the steaming jungles of Borneo to the hallowed hallways of Kew Gardens, from the clandestine orchid nurseries of Europe to the peat bogs of northern Minnesota, here are luscious, sexy flowers, orchid smugglers, fist-fighting botanists, moths with twelve-inch-long tongues, and government officials who raid orchid nurseries with attack dogs and automatic weapons. Strange tales of insect pollinator fidelity, the orchid ice cream makers of eastern Turkey, and man-crushing killer orchids weighing half a ton are blended with stories about a wide range of gentle people whose passion in life is the creation of scented, fragile flowers. Eric Hansen spent seven years exploring the far corners of the earth -- marveling at flowers of uncommon beauty, studying the history of the orchid trade, and grappling with the vicious, bizarre, and petty world of plant politics that sometimes makes it impossible to protect endangered species. Hansen brings to life the colorful flowers and the even more colorful people who are attracted to them, as he illuminates a funny, weird, and poignant world of horticultural passion and pathos.