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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.
From the very first sentence, I was in love with this engaging account. If it hasn't yet been optioned as a comedic screenplay, I'd consider pawning the cats to pick it up as a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Allena Hansen
Great Orchid history book. If you love orchids you will enjoy their story.Published 2 months ago by Leslie B. Mudd
I enjoyed this book for its truth, adventure & for my love of ordhids.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
“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 6 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 10 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 10 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 14 months ago by Pygoya