The Orchid Outlaw: On a Mission to Save Britain's Rarest Flowers
TEN YEARS AGO, BEN JACOB TURNED OUTLAW TO SAVE OUR RAREST FLOWERS. THIS IS HIS STORY.
Obsessed by orchids since childhood, Ben spent years travelling to far-flung jungles to see them in the wild. Then a chance encounter set him off on a journey of discovery into the wonderful, but often forgotten, world of Britain's fifty-one native species. These include the Bee which looks (and smells) so much like one that even bees are fooled, the Ghost which exists without sunlight, and Autumn Lady's Tresses which gave Darwin the proof he needed for his theory of evolution.
But our orchids are in desperate trouble. Many species are facing extinction. Decimated by changes in land use and climate, inadequately protected by environmental and planning laws, their habitats are disappearing fast. Determined to act before it was too late, Ben broke into building sites in the dead of night to rescue threatened plants, and turned his kitchen into a laboratory, his fridge into storage for hundreds of baby orchids, and his back yard into a plantation. But doing all that put him on the wrong side of the law. . .
At once a memoir, a natural history, and an inspiring call to action, reintroducing us to Britain's most endangered flowers, The Orchid Outlaw shows us how we can all save the world, one plant at a time.
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