From Holy Ghost Orchids to Religion…

An enthusiastic thank you to those who came last night to discuss The Orchid Thief.  This coming month we move into a more serious topic: religion vs. modern medicine, with The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.



World’s Most Expensive Flower (period)

£160,000 – Shenzhen Nongke Orchid

Shenzhen Nongke Orchid

The Shenzhen Nongke Orchid is a completely man-made flower that was developed during 8 years of research in agricultural science by its namesake Shenzhen Nongke Group in China. In 2005 the flower was sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for a jaw dropping 1.68 million Yuan, or £160,000. This completely unique Frankenstein flower remains the most expensive flower ever bought.

World’s Most Expensive Orchid (by the stem)…and it’s not the one Laroche was poaching.

£3,000 per flower – Gold of Kinabalu Orchid

Kinabalu Orchid

The Gold of Kinabalu Orchid, is an endangered species of orchid that can only be found in one small fenced off area in the Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia. This extremely rare flower costs up to $5,000, or £3,000 for just one stem at a time! This incredibly expensive flower is also a very impractical gift, unless of course the occasion falls between April and May, because that is the only time of year that the Gold of Kinabalu Orchid blooms.

Tonight’s the night!

Ok…I must admit that I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t score an interview with Susan Orlean this month (especially after the landmark month we had last month).  But that’s ok, I’m still excited to discuss this book with you.  I can’t decide if I liked it more the first time I read it many years ago or this time – either way, the fact I still enjoyed it says something.  I hope you liked it too and I also hope to see you tonight.  We will be up in our regular room on the 3rd floor at 7:00.

See you soon.

“Scenes of the Everglades”


These are excerpts of an original film produced by businessman and adventurer Homer Augustus Brinkley in 1928 to illustrate the exotic environment found in the Everglades. Brinkley lived among the Seminole Indians for a few months. He later used the film in a traveling show that included a live caged bear and himself dressed as a Seminole Indian. Photographed by William B. Feeland, the film contains some of the earliest moving footage of Seminole Indians. First, Seminole men and women are shown playing the “ball game” with handmade sticks in an open field in the Everglades. After the game, a close-up of the winners of the game is shown, as well as a closer view of the sticks used in the game. Next, Seminole men, women, and children perform a circular group dance around a fire. “The Buffalo Dance” is one of four Seminole dances included in the entire Brinkley film. A Seminole man poles a dugout canoe with a woman and two children along a waterway in the Everglades. Then in a segment titled “returning from the hunt,” the man, woman, and children are seen returning to camp after a hunting trip, and the man is carrying the game they killed. A black bear cub is shown climbing a cabbage palm, as well as landscape scenes of the grasslands and forests of the Everglades. In the last segment, titled “a grove of wild oranges amidst moss-draped oaks,” the dense trees of an Everglades hammock are shown, including wild orange trees.