Walk into most any nursery or florist and you will see beautiful orchids of many colors and sizes, with “easy care” instructions attached right to the pot enabling even the brownest thumb success. Want to shake the winter doldrums? Attend an orchid show or meeting – there are over 500 local groups affiliated with the American Orchid Society alone. Orchids are as diverse as they are beautiful, with over 27,000 accepted species living in nearly every corner of the globe. We are not alone in our fascination with orchids. In the nineteenth century, Europe was gripped by what has been named “Orchidelirium.” The collection of orchids from around the world was booming as the industrial revolution continued to change the economy and reach of Europe.