Never mind the bombs, where are the flowers?

Ya gotta love orchid people. This came in the other day from one of the orchid lists I’m subscribed to:

"I would like to know what orchids grow in Iraq.
With my son over there I thought he might be able to get some pictures of
orchids, instead of just pictures of trucks getting blown up."

After I finished choking on my toast, I read on and realized that I’m the only one who seemed to think this a rather eccentric request.

Someone wrote back almost immediately proudly announcing that there are in fact orchids growing in Iraq. He included a complete list of all 38 species he obtained from a search of "The Royal Botanical Garden Kew’s World List of Monocotyledons". Then, a mild debate ensued over speculation on where in Iraq orchids might be found. One fellow suggested that "the majority of orchids would be found in the SE swamps between Bahgdad and Basra." Someone else blithely responded that "the southern swamps in Iraq were largely drained by Saddam Hussein to punish the Marsh Arabs", and that he guessed the majority of orchids would be found in the mountains.

Uhhh… Bad Saddam. Those poor plants. As for me, I’m guessing that there are more bodies pushing up daisies than there are orchids in that part of the world.

I love it — bombs are going off all around, and they’re more interested in flowers. I think the expression "Flower Child" has just been expanded to include people who aren’t so much against war as they are sublimely oblivious to anything but orchids. Now THAT’S an addiction.

4 thoughts on “Never mind the bombs, where are the flowers?

  1. So I wasn’t alone in my reaction to that first post. Similarly another consistently flowery child wondered about the fate of the orchids of Indonesia post tsunami. She at least had the grace to preface it with comments indicating orchid damage wasn’t the biggest concern, at least from a human perspective.


  2. Gee, it makes me very pleased to know I’m not the only one curious about whether these exotic plants grow in Iraq. I’m about to leave Ft. Benning for Iraq- having left my collection of orchids with some friends back in New York, and I can’t bear the thought of spending a year over there without any flowering plants, much less orchids. I’d be happy to correspond with anyone in a similar situation


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