Orchids, the epitome of floral beauty, have long inspired poetry, adventure, art, and scientific discovery. In Orchid Muse, historian and home orchid grower Erica Hannickel brings together fascinating tales of the orchid-smitten throughout history, along with tips on growing the exotic blooms at the center of each account. Consider, for instance, Empress Eugenie and Queen Victoria, the two most powerful women in nineteenth-century Europe, who shared a passion for Coelogyne cristata. John Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, and Raymond Burr, the actor famed for playing Perry Mason, cultivated thousands of orchids, introducing captivating new and unusual species. Transporting the reader from hazardous Amazonian journeys to a seedy dime museum in Gilded Age New York’s Tenderloin, from the glories of the palace gardens of Chinese Empress Cixi to the island of Bourbon, where the vanilla orchid thrives, Orchid Muse spans the world, exploring our enduring fascination with these exquisite flowers.
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