Meet Three Australians Who Are Obsessed with Orchids

Orchids can inspire obsessions and lifetime devotions. These three Australians are perfect examples, and have great orchid tales to share.

Julian Pitcher braves poisonous snakes, stinging trees, and other jungle hazards to hunt for orchids in tropical Queensland. He studies and photographs rare species, and always promotes conservation. Check out his Wild Orchid Adventures YouTube channel. Two of his videos are below, with lots of beautiful and unusual Australian orchids.

Katharina Nargar is an orchid biologist who researches Australia’s spectacular species. Ninety percent of the continent’s orchids grow nowhere else. Many are terrestrials from drier areas, including beauties like the Queen of Sheba Orchid, and bizarre plants like Rhizanthellas, which live entirely underground. Although she’s an orchid expert, she doesn’t have a green thumb. Rather than growing them herself, she enjoys them in their native environments.

Gerry Walsh is an orchid hobbyist whose nickname is “Rock Lily Man,” after the showy and fragrant Rock Lily, Dendrobium speciosum. The retiree spends a lot of time in his greenhouse, where’s he’s lost count of how many orchids there are. Since he prefers the company of plants to people, it’s not a problem.

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