With such willing customers, it's no wonder that a thriving black market now exists. To serve it, orchids are taken illegally from sensitive ecological areas in places like Thailand, Borneo, and darkest Minnesota. In scenes reminiscent of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief, Hansen follows the trail of orchid smugglers, pursuing money and plants in a whodunit tale that involves botanical gardens, scholars, scientists, ordinary enthusiasts, and "plant cops"--international eco-police whose job it is to stop the traffic in rare and often endangered plants. Those vigilantes have their work cut out for them, Hansen writes, especially because some of the current laws may be misguided, causing more harm than good and equating honest breeders with botanical desperadoes. The laws are bound to fail in any event, he suggests, if only because the plant trade, like that of the drug trade, is simply too big to curtail.
Orchid enthusiasts and admirers of good journalism alike will find plenty of interest in Hansen's vivid, richly anecdotal investigation. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“You can get off alcohol, drugs, women, food, and cars but once you’re hooked on orchids, you’re finished. You never get off orchids...never. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michelle Levy
Interesting!! Never thought that orchids could have such a history and so much control of the buying, selling and collecting of such a beautiful plant.Published 6 months ago by susan Velasquez
I don't raise orchids. In general, I don't bother raising flowers. So, why read this? I'm interested in conservation of wild things... Read morePublished 6 months ago by liberal warrior
Interesting history of the players, economics and politics of the West with the importing of Asian and Central and South American orchid plants during the last 150 years. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Pygoya
Disappointed. Shallow. Hoped for more. Should've put my $ in an orchid plant!Published 11 months ago by Sandra L. Larsen
What a strange group of people, a strange group of laws and regs, power plays, egos, one-upmanships, guns, raids, out and out BS. It's Great! :)Published 15 months ago by Jim Moore