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MAGIC RARE IN THE WILD, ORCHIDS CAPTIVATE THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE THEM Story and Photos By Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer We are not even looking for them when sud- Orchids have always captivated humans. For denly there they are, trailing down the live thousands of years, the Chinese celebrated them in art and literature and used them for oaks at Jelks Preserve in Venice. medicinal purposes. In his Herbal, of 1647, Members of the Florida Native Plant Soci- English astrologer/physician Nicholas Culpepety are on a nature walk with Dr. Mary Jelks, er placed "Orchis" under the Dominion of Vewhose family foundation helped fund the pur- nus because they "provoke lust exceedingly, chase of this county park that runs along the which they say, the dried and withered roots Myakka River. Fluttering in the breeze, the do restrain … Being bruised and applied they orchids resemble butterflies — which gave heal the king's evil." them their common name, "butterfly orchids." Their Latin name, Enclyclia tampensis, refers Two centuries later, the English bourgeoisie to Tampa Bay, where they were first collected lusted after orchids to raise in their greenhouses. Collectors searched the globe for new in the mid-1800s and sent to herbariums.

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