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Topics in Chronicling America - Orchidelirium

Orchards are sold to raving Victorian woman at prices upwards of thousands of dollars. Bold men seeking wealth journey to the most dangerous parts of the Amazon in search of the perfect flower. Aptly named orchidelirium, this unique, floral craze grips the country in the late 19th century. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Jump to: Sample ArticlesNewspaper Page (detail)

Important Dates:

  • 19th century. Orchids are at the height of popularity and fashion for the affluent class during the Victorian Era.
  • 1862. Charles Darwin publishes On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Orchids, Rare Orchids, Orchid Hunters, Plants, Horticulture, Discovery, Darwin, Collectors.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:


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  August 9, 2016
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