Orchid Thief And Other Famous Orchids in Movies and Books…

Famous Orchids

It’s always exciting to see orchids in television shows, movies, and books. Below we mention a few popular books and shows that you should check out if you haven’t already…

If you have ever read a nonfiction book about orchids, chances are you have probably read The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean. She traveled down to South Florida to investigate and write an article about a man named John Laroche and the Seminole Indians that were arrested for poaching ghost orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii) in Florida’s Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. They were searching for the ghost orchid in order to clone and sell to orchid collectors. As Orlean learned more about the world of orchids, she became more and more fascinated and ended up shadowing Laroche for the next two years. Her assignment to write an article about the arrest of orchid poachers turned in to a full-length book about orchid obsession and the lengths that some people will go to to get their hands on them.

Phragmipedium kovachii orchidAnother great orchid book is called The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World’s Most Beautiful Orchid by Craig Pittman. This fascinating true story tells of the Phragmipedium kovachii orchid which, when discovered in Peru in 2002, became a much sought-after orchid. This orchid was sold on the black market for prices up to an astounding $10,000! When the orchid was found in Sarasota’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, it led to major investigations and search warrants which put the botanical gardens in the headlines. Not only does he shed some light on orchid smuggling, he also shows how there are many flaws present in the protection of endangered orchid species around the world.

The 2002 film Adaptation is based on the film writer, Charlie Kaufman’s (played by Nicholas Cage) experience of adapting the book The Orchid Thief as a screenplay. The movie also stars Chris Cooper (won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this part) as John Laroche and Meryl Streep as Susan Orlean. The movie shows the struggles writer Charlie Kaufman went through in order to adapt the book to movie format and is a must-see for all orchid lovers.

The TV series Twin Peaks featured a character that grows and hybridizes orchids in his apartment. Harold Smith, the orchid grower, (played by Lenny von Dohlen) only appears in 5 episodes of the series (all in the second season) but when onscreen you’ll be sure to see his great orchid collection!

The TV series Nip/Tuck also included an episode that featured orchids. The season two finale (titled “Joan Rivers”) guest stars Alec Baldwin as a retired plastic surgeon who works to create new orchid hybrids. In the episode you get to see Baldwin using his skill of a steady surgeon hand to pollinate lady’s slipper orchids using tweezers. The scenes are very short but still very enjoyable for those of us who are orchid crazy.

There are numerous other books, movies, and television shows that feature orchids either as part of the story or in the background décor. It’s always exciting to catch a glimpse of these beautiful flowers even if just for a few seconds!

Next Steps: Where do you go from here?

A couple options:

#1 – More Free Orchid Tips!
At a minimum, I strongly recommending signing up for our orchid tips newsletter (it’s free!). That’ll give you some additional (more detailed) step-by-step tips you can start using with your Orchids right away…

#2 – Get Access to ALL My Orchid Articles…
If you’d like to learn everything you need to know about orchid care (and caring for ALL types of orchids) we also have something called the Orchids Made Easy Green Thumb Club.

The Green Thumb Club includes a number of different benefits – including weekly lessons on all different orchid care topics delivered to you in a special, password-protected members area. You also get the opportunity to get YOUR actual questions answered in my weekly “Ask The Orchid Guy” column, which you can check out here.

The Green Thumb Club costs less than a meal at McDonald’s – and ALSO includes all sorts of ADDITIONAL benefits, including exclusive discounts at orchid suppliers from 20-40% off as well access to our “orchid diagnosis tool” which helps you identify what problem might be plaguing your plant.

Because the club is backed by a full 100% money-back guarantee for a full 30 days, if after checking it out you decide that it’s not for you or that you didn’t get value you out of what you learned – no problem! Simply send us an email to let me know, and you’ll receive a fast and courteous refund. Put it this way: If you’re not happy, I’m not happy!

(By the way, this link here will give you access to 50% off the cost of membership. A little “gift” for reading this article all the way to the end :-))

All my best,


Ryan “The Orchid Guy” :-)

IMPORTANT: To learn everything you need to know about caring for your orchids, if you haven’t already I strongly recommend signing up for the “Orchid Care Tips & Secrets Newsletter” my wife and I publish by clicking here.

It’s completely free – and the best part? You can even choose the type of information you’d like to receive (reblooming tips, basics of orchid care, etc.) Join over 20,000 fellow orchid enthusiasts young and old and sign up for our free orchid care newsletter today! :-)

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