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The Orchid Thief centers on south Florida and John Laroche, a quixotic, charismatic schemer once convicted of attempting to take endangered orchids from the Fakahatchee swamp, a state preserve. Laroche, a horticultural consultant who once ran an extensive nursery for the Seminole tribe, dreams of making a fortune for the Seminoles and himself by cloning the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii. Laroche sums up the obsession that drives him and so many others:
I really have to watch myself, especially around plants. Even now, just being here, I still get that collector feeling. You know what I mean. I'll see something and then suddenly I get that feeling. It's like I can't just have something--I have to have it and learn about it and grow it and sell it and master it and have a million of it.Even Orlean--so leery of orchid fever that she immediately gives away any plant that's pressed upon her by the growers in Laroche's circle--develops a desire to see a ghost orchid blooming and makes several ultimately unsuccessful treks into the Fakahatchee. Filled with Palm Beach socialites, Native Americans, English peers, smugglers, and naturalists as improbably colorful as the tropical blossoms that inspire them, this is a lyrical, funny, addictively entertaining read. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I am trying to decide if the book is about orchids or about FloridaPublished 22 days ago by Rita R Parise
A well-written and meticulously researched examination of the passion for new and unusual species of orchids, The Orchid Thief illuminates the power of obsession. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Paul Wedel
This story was amazing even if it was a bit more than I wanted to know about orchids! The history of Florida and the Indian reservations was fascinating as was the saga of orchids... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eleanor Gehrung
Its a well written well reasearched piece of lit . A very intresting insight into a world that youd never otherwise know existed. As far as earth shattering info Meah!! Read morePublished 1 month ago by G. Winn
Living in Fla. and constantly looking at orchids every where this is a must read book! to realize the effort behind the cloning care of the plants etc. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Victor V.
This is an interesting account of the destruction of rare orchids that were collected in Florida for profit The characters were strange and it could have been better written.Published 2 months ago by orchidski
I take pride in finishing books, but could not persevere with this one.Published 2 months ago by Ichabod