|Nonfiction Paperback Edition|
I've had Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen in my 'to be read' stack of books since November 2013 and on my reading wish list even longer!!
So, in an effort to learn more about orchids, I finally decided to read Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen. I am not sure why it took me so long to read this nonfiction work about orchids... But I am glad that I finally did read it. Eric Hansen is a wonderfully, captivating author that makes learning more about orchids FUN, entertaining, and enlightening without being dull, dry, or boring in the least.
What makes Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen a great read is how well it is written and how each chapter is structured. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic, orchid species, or person of interest in the orchid industry. There are loads of fascinating tidbits about orchids in this book.., For instance, I learned that "orchids represent one of the largest families of flowering plants. There are approximately 25,000 naturally occurring species and more than 100,000 artificial hybrids in cultivation." (page 59 of Orchid Fever). There's even a species of orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum) that can weigh more than half a ton!!
In one of my favorite chapters (chapter 6) in Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy, I learned that in Turkey there is an ice cream made from orchids that is stretchy and is eaten with a fork and knife! I now want to fly to Turkey and sample this delicious sounding ice cream for myself!
Below is a YouTube video of traditional Turkish ice cream made from orchids.
Below is a summary of Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen from Amazon:
The acclaimed author of Motoring with Mohammed brings us a compelling adventure into the remarkable world of the orchid and the impossibly bizarre array of international characters who dedicate their lives to it.
The orchid is used for everything from medicine for elephants to an aphrodisiac ice cream. A Malaysian species can grow to weigh half a ton while a South American species fires miniature pollen darts at nectar-sucking bees. But the orchid is also the center of an illicit international business: one grower in Santa Barbara tends his plants while toting an Uzi, and a former collector has been in hiding for seven years after serving a jail sentence for smuggling thirty dollars worth of orchids into Britain. Deftly written and captivatingly researched, Orchid Fever is an endlessly enchanting and entertaining tour of an exotic world.
"A wonderful book, I've been up all night reading it, laughing and crying out in horror and clucking at the vivid images of bureaucracy with the bit in its teeth." —Annie Proulx
"An extraordinary, well-told tale of botany, obsession and plant politics. Hansen's vivid descriptions of the complex techniques some orchids use to pollinate themselves will raise your eyebrows at nature's sexual ingenuity." —USA TodayI am giving Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.
I look forward to reading other books by Eric Hansen in the future.
Until my next post happy reading!