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Breaking: Ghost Orchid, Co-Star of Orlean Book and Jonze Film, Blooming Again

Filed under: Headline Shooter   Tagged: , ,

From the Tampa Bay blog at the St. Petersburg Times:
A rare ghost orchid, first spotted in July in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, is blooming again, the Miami Herald reports. The plant is believed to grow naturally only in Cuba, the Bahamas and Southwest Florida. The blossom is white and has thin, spindly stems that virtually disappear against the dark backdrop of the swamps in which it thrives, giving it the appearance of being suspended in midair.

The plant is a central character in Susan Orlean’s celebrated The Orchid Thief [link mine], a 1998 book about a rogue plant dealer in Southwest Florida who is arrested for taking the rare orchid and other species from the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve southwest of Naples.

In a 1995 article in The New Yorker magazine that was the basis for the book, Orlean described plant dealer John Laroche as “a tall guy, skinny as a stick, pale-eyed, slouch-shouldered, and sharply handsome, in spite of the fact that he is missing all of his front teeth.” Orlean’s book tells Laroche’s story as an orchid enthusiast who hatches a plan with the cooperation of the Seminole tribe to build a nursery and orchid greenhouse.

A 2002 film, Adaptation, was based more or less on Orlean’s book but was really more about adapting a book to a screenplay than it was about the Orlean book.
For more about Adaptation, check out a mini-blog that Jason Kottke kept about the movie at Susan Orlean’s site, which he developed. (Click around; it’s a nice site.)

Also, California olive-oil producers, chuffed by the Tom Mueller exposé, “Slippery Business,” are declaring their oil squeaky clean.

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