The Florida MGV Summer Book Club

Book Club Selections

Cover of the book The Scent of Scandal by Craig Pittman featuring a photo of a magenta orchid flower

For the summer of 2022, the Florida MGV Book Club read "The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid" by Craig Pittman, investigative journalist and native Floridian.

After its Peruvian discovery in 2002, Phragmipedium kovachii became the rarest and most sought-after orchid in the world. Prices soared to $10,000 on the black market. Then one showed up at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where every year more than 100,000 people visit.

The collision between Selby's scientists and the smugglers of this rare ladyslipper orchid led to search warrants, a grand jury investigation, and criminal charges. It made headlines around the country, cost the gardens hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, and led to tremendous internal turmoil.

Book List

Interested in what we've previously read? See the MGV Book List.

You can watch recordings of previous live meetings with authors and Extension experts on the UF/IFAS Center for Land Use Efficiency's YouTube channel.