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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, February 25, 1906, Image 31

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1906-02-25/ed-1/seq-31/

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AS old as the law oi supply and ii i
itself i- the motive that forces the
orchid-tranter into almost imjK-iK
le tropical forests whcro these i?"t
geous Sara] parasites make the tree-tops
• and k:r«.- the nunterHScientist too
■• ■ • • ".• ith. The t-ltTiu-nt of
is in it i<><>. for i • man may
i di ■ . ■■ ■ ■ '' ' lontogkKsum, whether
b .11 ton tto ■ - worth seventy-five cents or
I as Long as a Rothschild
■ ▼ to pal down fabulous
ihe orchid-hunters will
■ i - :••. : • ■ 'Is at Mew-Guinea or
: r reeking Aj
■ ... i rest arch or inquiry to
■ ■ • . • ■ bobby of the
Ideal Ira) I F Saint Al
- . ■_. I: is ha I 31 &
: ■ • : Sai ■ . . ■ -• ■ ■ i large i taff < A
• me of the wildest regions of the
.'."■. • ■ ' r slopes of
1 lor. Centra] Brazil and the
■ •■.. Here too one finds a past • I
■ . • . ■ ■.-.'.... f these i
plant • re esved, reared and interbred
I Imosi incredi
ble. In oj ■ ■ . ■ . itiful hi tlc lakes
in wh: [ ' rted ... • ■ •
■ eighty and « a ninety. '* You must
i are in Borneo now," Sander said;
n the n ' '■ ase you w :'l find the ter
n■ - ■ ;■; ■ • .■.-■• ,be lusi the < irehids
■ lands ■ I llexio i and \\.<.

. ■ and fantastic exotics
■ cry particular of their
• If they ■ . ss from almost
: ■ . ■ [Sumatra and Java, here
[ft a the air and threw out
■ • : Bstead ' I • '■* ard, that
the f una
order to ... ther conditions. Generally
y, the
. . ■ . . nly a of thei
... . .. „]
me of 1 nd remote ■ i ■
• • - • • • ■■ ■ • r twenty travelers,
• ■ ■ . • I froi :'•
: ■ - • • at Kew Gardei Tl iii
II V ■_• . ■'. G itei
\ .• .• Colombia ]'•■../.:], Burma.
nd the Hi! layas gem rail) . !'• : I n
".- '. i in the business
- ] ■ pecolat ■ .'■ . ■ I
ater i ■ t h empl er fifti i tl i
• and t • lutely no check upi m
i . ■ minimum nui ber oi plants which he
end • .'• ■ . ■ ■ t blamed if he does
• • nd hoi . ■ ■ in the twelve months.
■ ■ S •i• i< r t< • me, "I lost
t-ixty ■ • ■ ... and ffur< >ur
• • ■ er."
from a ■ • rtaii 1a» .
n the lower Himal
< tta, w here I • ■ ill i i h
•■■■■.■■ ■ ■
- •• ■ • \\ ': • • • : • •be primeval
Is a kind ■■••'■ ' ■ . I
■.•'.. eran la in fr< mt «h« re
'. . ■ Iried and prepai
It as it is 1 . • ■ ■ '.ids at all.
§fts»aHnge Perils aiadl Risks of
GaUfiaepiiag Tfoiese Odd Fflowesps
A ConMjjnnum ol Ore. hid •> on lh«
Magdalena River.
the trouble nly begins when the hunter discovers
them. He must pack and prepare them for trans
portation by coolie in Assam, by long-necked llama
in the Andes, by raft or elephant, and contrive
to get them thousands of iles across the ocean
in such a condition that at least twenty per cent,
of them will arrive with some vitality in them. And
yet ten thousand plants may b< collected on some
remote Andean peak or Papuan jungle with infinite
tare, and consigned to Europe, the freight alone
amounting to thousands of dollars, yel on arrival
there may not be a single ore!.;.] kit alive.
When the orchids are brought in they are dried
for perhaps four weeks and then prepared for their
long journey. \Vhe;i entirely free from sture,
they art- fastened to tough twigs and most refully
packed in wooden cases with a liberal air allowance.
These boxes are then carried by various means ;<<
local agent who see thei safely on board the
At this early stage does the great orchid mble
ln-gin; for if the plants have not enough air, if they
are placed on board t<>o near the boilers or exposed
to sunlight, they will all be ruined. So delicate are
they that in Colombia certaii crispums grow only
■ ■ precise level. They cannot exist higher up
because of the cold, and the intense heat of the val
leys would utterly kill this particular kind.
Sander probably r« ceives two million plants a year;
and so ... ..... about them ...
are mostly sold by auction. One plant may be worth
fifty cents, but may produce a freakish flowei (the
cause of which is unknown), whereupon the plant is
promptly divided and each piece may bring a
thousand dollars.
"On July 24. 1883," Sander remarked tome, "a
1 rtain Mr. Harve an attorney of Liverpool, was
Btrollii . with me through this very house in which
we now arc ivhen he suddenly stooped over a
plant of Larluj anceps which had a ring mark on its
pseudobulb much higher up than was usual. He
bought it then and there for twelve dollars, and on
December 1, 1888, sold it back to me for one thou
sand dollars."
On another occasion a large consignment of
Cypripedium insigtu arrived ai Saint Albans, and
Sander hin -• If noticed among them one with a bright
yellow flower-stalk instead of the normal brown
of the type. He put it on 01 side, and when it
flowered the bloom was a burst oi glorious gold —
a freakish novelty of a lendid kind. Sander had
the plant cut in two, and sold one-half for five
hundred and twenty-five dollars at public auction
and the other half for the same sum to a wealthy
prival collector. The latter, when his plant had
grown, divided this also, sold two pieces at five
I ■ :red dollars each, and a third section Sander
himself 1 I back for thirteen hundred dollars
the purpose oi hybridizing.
Orchid enthusiasts well remember the ricl find
of the ;_'' >rgeous elephant moth dendrobe, named after
Baron Schroeder. The weird flowers of this variety
alternate ( «n the richest crimson through paler
shades to almost pure win;.-, and look like . igantic
nodding moths on the slender stem- -just as the
I ' colibri orchids have assumed the shapes oi
exquisite humming-birds hovering in the swe t
\\V >i Indian morning.
Some years ago the elephant motl d 1 Irobe was
almost beyond price, l>ut an enthusiast*
ctor voyaging up the malarial and
deadly Fly River in British New-Guinea
suddenly came upon glorious masses of it in
a sacred cemetery <>f the cannibal Papuans,
where the lm^e crimson Bora! moths crept
and curled strangely amid the lmm-s and
skulls. The natives threatened the orchid
hunter with their poisoned spears, fearing this dis
turbance "t" their ancestors' remains. They were
over, however, by presents of brass wir« and
calico, and still more by the performance of a few
■ and a little medical attendai
The collector was finally assisted by the savages
in gathering the new orchid; but they insisted on
Bending with the plants a certain quaint little god,
probably in order to propitiate the spirits of the
dead in casi ould resent this rude intrusion.
This idol was sold with the first consignm
lants at the auction rooms oi Protheroe <Sc
Morris, in Cheapside, London. The specimen that
atti ted i ttei *i<>n, however, was one growing
out of the eye f a humai skull This was
■■'as a curi ■ and realized six
■Id' 'liars.
A reside- ■ • Gen in Colony at Tovar, New
■ ■ almosi unique plant of the Masde
t( ■ a bus it • • d in Mam
who, when it flowered, cvi ii up and sold fragments
for larj 11 I h purchaser did the same thing
in due time witl I on, and in this way a kind
I price of five dollars a leaf was
plani Tl • Saint Allans ■
mmissii »ned their
man Arnold to take the next steanu-r for La Guayra
and Caracas. A few months later a consignment of
forty thousand plants was received in England,
drove the price down from five dollars a leaf
■ ent y-five ceni
"Am >ng n ■■■Hectors who have at various •
died in harness," Sander said to me, "I remember
Falkenberg at Panama Klaboch in Mexico, Endres
■ Rio Hacha, Wallace in Ecuador, Schroder
hi the West Coasi of Africa, poor
Arnold ontheOrin Digan em Brazil, and Brown
in Madagascar. All these have met more or less
tragic deaths through wild ''easts, savages, fever,
ning, falls i >r i >ther ai cideni
"Bui the mo I sensatioi ■ ! sti try was n
to me by the eminent orchid grower and hunter,
I Humblot. Some y. , ; rs ago Humblol a
I ■ '.man, found himself dining at Tamatave in
'.sc.ir in company with his brother and six
■ trymen, who were all exploring the then
nown country with various scientific aim-.
But before the year was oui Humblot was the only
survivor of them all. < >tn- *•{ hi- colleagues was col
. '■ . b .:• ■ i beeti for i-utleri -utler the nat ui
oi Bloomsbury, London, and took up butterflies,
a kind of side-line. Unfor
1\- oik- clay he planted a charge oi small shot
native idol, whereupon the outraged priests
■ d him in "-A and burned him alive."
Bui perhaps tl •• all is that
•■ name will ever be
• ' " mum [ts
■ ; s, when a certain Mrs. Spicer
. at Wimbledon, a suburb of London, sold the
■ s. well-known florists of Chelsea, a strange
flower thai had made its appearance in her
foi three hundred and fifty dollars.
The florists divided their specimen and sold


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