About Orchids eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 160 pages of information about About Orchids.
for example, at Para, and travel to Bogota, two thousand miles or so, with a stretch of six hundred miles on either hand which is untouched.  It may well be asked what Mr. Swainson was doing, if alive, while his discovery thus agitated the world.  Alive he was, in New Zealand, until the year 1855, but he offered no assistance.  It is scarcely to be doubted that he had none to give.  The orchids fell in his way by accident—­possibly collected in distant parts by some poor fellow who died at Rio.  Swainson picked them up, and used them to stow his lichens.

Not least extraordinary, however, in this extraordinary tale is the fact that various bits of C. l. vera turned up during this time.  Lord Home has a noble specimen at Bothwell Castle, which did not come from Swainson’s consignment.  His gardener told the story five years ago.  “I am quite sure,” he wrote, “that my nephew told me the small bit I had from him”—­forty years before—­“was off a newly-imported plant, and I understood it had been brought by one of Messrs. Horsfall’s ships.”  Lord Fitzwilliam seems to have got one in the same way, from another ship.  But the most astonishing case is recent.  About seven years ago two plants made their appearance in the Zoological Gardens at Regent’s Park—­in the conservatory behind Mr. Bartlett’s house.  How they got there is an eternal mystery.  Mr. Bartlett sold them for a large sum; but an equal sum offered him for any scrap of information showing how they came into his hands he was sorrowfully obliged to refuse—­or, rather, found himself unable to earn.  They certainly arrived in company with some monkeys; but when, from what district of South America, the closest search of his papers failed to show.  In 1885, Dr. Regel, Director of the Imperial Gardens at St. Petersburg, received a few plants.  It may be worth while to name those gentlemen who recently possessed examples of C. l. vera, so far as our knowledge goes.  They were Sir Trevor Lawrence, Lord Rothschild, Duke of Marlborough, Lord Home, Messrs. J. Chamberlain, T. Statten, J.J.  Blandy, and G. Hardy, in England; in America, Mr. F.L.  Ames, two, and Mr. H.H.  Hunnewell; in France, Comte de Germiny, Duc de Massa, Baron Alphonse and Baron Adolf de Rothschild, M. Treyeran of Bordeaux.  There were two, as is believed, in Italy.

And now the horticultural papers inform us that the lost orchid is found, by Mr. Sander of St. Albans.  Assuredly he deserves his luck—­if the result of twenty years’ labour should be so described.  It was about 1870, we believe, that Mr. Sander sent out Arnold, who passed five years in exploring Venezuela.  He had made up his mind that the treasure must not be looked for in Brazil.  Turning next to Colombia, in successive years, Chesterton, Bartholomeus, Kerbach, and the brothers Klaboch overran that country.  Returning to Brazil, his collectors, Oversluys, Smith, Bestwood, went over every foot of the ground which Swainson seems, by his books, to have traversed. 

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About Orchids from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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