Business & Finance: Orchids

Most expensive of flowers is, of course, the orchid, for which collectors have sometimes paid as much as $5,000 a plant. In the tropics orchids are found as brilliant patches of color at the top of high peaks or hidden in luxurious forests. In northern climates their reproduction and culture is an exacting scientific task over which specialists must labor for the seven years that elapse between the time the orchid seed is planted and the day the flower bursts into bloom.

Favored as the prime floral gift, the orchid has been an object on which many a Wall Street dollar has...

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