Beware the Orchid, its seductive beauty, heady scent. Orchids are venomous to eat. And check out a closeup of their inner workings–looks a spotted maw with teeth. “All the better to eat you, my dear.” That’s why most poems about orchids twine death with beauty. Here’s one by Sam Hamill.
Fredrick Sanders, a notorious Orchid Hunter, sent men out on treacherous expeditions to bring back orchid specimens. The hunters risked their lives and often lost them, were underpaid, and underfed, while Sanders reaped a fortune. And he treated the environment the same way. He would take thousands of specimens and cut down trees, destroying the plants so competitors couldn’t get them.