Favourite Flora

conradhankersconradhankers Underground
edited September 30 in General Discussion Posts: 22
Classic Bond villians are often seen in exotic locations and surrounded by awesome Flora.

Moonraker was my introduction to Orchids. If you've visited awesome flora locations or have hidden gems in your garden, I'd love to see it here, and any Bond connections would be excellent.

Very niche I know, but hey, it's a big world and why not explore it here?

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Comments

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 3,818
    A nice idea for discussion, @conradhankers.

    You drew me in with the hummingbirds, I'll admit my failure as a birdwatcher is not knowing the flora side of business. It's interesting stuff, I can contribute something later today.

    I expect you'll give some detail to the Moonraker orchid, the one we're most familiar with in Bond's world.
  • conradhankersconradhankers Underground
    Posts: 22
    The Moonraker Orchid, The Orchidae Nigra, or Black Orchid, is a fictional rare purple flowering plant found growing among the ruins of an extinct ancient civilization near the River Tapirapé, in north-central Brazil.

    The closest thing in our world would be the Brasiliorchis schunkeana, formerly known as Maxillaria schunkeana. A species of orchid native to Brazil.

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  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 15,641
    I have taken a liking to the Orchid because of MR.
    Though I must admit that Sunflowers are my favourites. Can't remember having seen them in a Bond before though I can imagine there are some in OHMSS at the Draco estate.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 3,818
    Probably the best reference to the orchid from Fleming is in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, M's remarks.

    Interesting comments on Fleming and Rex Stout on the Artistic Licence Renewed site.
    https://literary007.com/2017/08/17/the-names-wolfe-nero-wolfe-rex-stouts-influence-on-ian-fleming/

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    On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Ian Fleming, 1963.
    Chapter 20 - M en Pantoufles


    ...
    M would have preferred to live by the sea, near Plymouth perhaps or Bristol - anywhere where he could see the stuff whenever he wanted to and could listen to it at night. As it was, and since he had to be within easy call of London, he had chosen the next best thing to water, trees, and had found a small Regency manor-house on the edge of Windsor Forest. This was on Crown Lands, and Bond had always suspected that an ounce of 'Grace and Favour' had found its way into M's lease. The head of the Secret Service earned £5,000 a year, with the use of an ancient Rolls Royce and driver thrown in. M's naval pay (as a Vice-Admiral on the retired list) would add perhaps another £1,500. After taxes, he would have about £4,000 to spend. His London life would probably take at least half of that. Only if his rent and rates came to no more than £500, would he be able to keep a house in the country, and a beautiful small Regency house at that.

    These thoughts ran again through Bond's mind as he swung the clapper of the brass ship's-bell of some former HMS Repulse, the last of whose line, a battle-cruiser, had been M's final sea-going appointment. Hammond, M's Chief Petty Officer in that ship, who had followed M into retirement, greeted Bond as an old friend, and he was shown into M's study.

    M had one of the stock bachelor's hobbies. He painted in water-colour. He painted only the wild orchids of England, in the meticulous but uninspired fashion of the naturalists of the nineteenth century. He was now at his painting-table up against the window, his broad back hunched over his drawing-board, with, in front of him, an extremely dim little flower in a tooth-glass full of water. When Bond came in and closed the door, M gave the flower one last piercingly inquisitive glance. He got to his feet with obvious reluctance. But he gave Bond one of his rare smiles and said, 'Afternoon, James.' (He had the sailor's meticulous observance of the exact midday.) 'Happy Christmas and all that. Take a chair.' M himself went behind his desk and sat down. He was about to come on duty. Bond automatically took his traditional place across the desk from his Chief.

    M began to fill a pipe. 'What the devil's the name of that fat American detective who's always fiddling about with orchids, those obscene hybrids from Venezuela and so forth? Then he comes sweating out of his orchid house, eats a gigantic meal of some foreign muck and solves the murder. What's he called?'

    'Nero Wolfe, sir. They're written by a chap called Rex Stout. I like them.'

    'They're readable,' condescended M. 'But I was thinking of the orchid stuff in them. How in hell can a man like those disgusting flowers? Why, they're damned near animals, and their colours, all those pinks and mauves and the blotchy yellow tongues, are positively hideous! Now that' - M waved at the meagre little bloom in the tooth-glass -'that's the real thing. That's an Autumn Lady's Tresses - spiranthes spiralis, not that I care particularly. Flowers in England as late as October and should be under the ground by now. But I got this forced-late specimen from a man I know - assistant to a chap called Summerhayes who's the orchid king at Kew. My friend's experimenting with cultures of a fungus which oddly enough is a parasite on a lot of orchids, but, at the same time, gets eaten by the orchid and acts as its staple diet. Mycorhiza it's called.' M gave another of his rare smiles. 'But you needn't write it down. Just wanted to take a leaf out of this fellow Nero Wolfe's book. However' - M brushed the topic aside - 'can't expect you to get excited about these things. Now then.' He settled back.
    'What the devil have you been up to?' The grey eyes regarded Bond keenly. 'Looks as if you haven't been getting much sleep. Pretty gay these winter sport places, they tell me.'

    Bond smiled. He reached into his inside pocket and took out the pinned sheets of paper. 'This one provided plenty of miscellaneous entertainment, sir. Perhaps you'd like to have a look at my report first. 'Fraid it's only a draft. There wasn't much time. But I can fill in anything that isn't clear.'

    M reached across for the papers, adjusted his spectacles, and began reading.

    Autumn Lady's-tresses (Spiranthes spiralis)
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    And of interest recalling the Moonraker film orchid, there's Rex Stout's 1942 book/novella.
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  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 7,081
    As a kid in the late 80's, these were my favorite type of flora. I had the second one from the left:
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited October 10 Posts: 3,818
    I was thinking something totally different, there, @QBranch. Good for you.


    Here's an item from the Does E = mc² or mc³? The Science in Bond Films Thread.

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    Four plant species named for James Bond
    sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/four-plant-species-named-james-bond
    By Ben PankoMay. 4, 2016 , 12:15 PM

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    There’s no word yet on how they’ll take their martinis, but a new subgenus of plants has been named Jamesbondia, after the ornithologist namesake for the famed fictional spy, Science Daily reports. The four plant species in this new subgenus are found in Central America and the Caribbean Islands, where U.S. ornithologist James Bond did his most famous work. Author Ian Fleming, a passionate birdwatcher, was later inspired after reading Bond’s book Birds of the West Indies. Jamesbondia falls under the tropical flowering plant genus Alternathera, according to the proposal in the latest issue of the journal Plant Biosystems. The subgenus was previously used informally by another botanist in the 1980s.

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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited October 27 Posts: 3,818
    220px-Lilium_candidum_1.jpg
    Lillium
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium#Etymology
    Scientific classification
    Kingdom: Plantae - Clade: Angiosperms - Clade: Monocots
    Order: Liliales - Family: Liliaceae - Subfamily: Lilioideae - Tribe: Lilieae
    Genus: Lilium - Type species: Lilium candidum

    Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies.
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    Dr. No, Terence Young, 1962.
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    For Your Eyes Only, John Glen, 1981.
    https://screenmusings.org/movie/dvd/For-Your-Eyes-Only/pages/For-Your-Eyes-Only-0308.htm
    Girl in Flower Shop: May I help you?

    Bond: Yes, give me a dozen lilies, will you? I'll pick them up later.
    ...
    Bond: Send them to the funeral, will you?
    https://screenmusings.org/movie/dvd/For-Your-Eyes-Only/pages/For-Your-Eyes-Only-0318.htm
    The Living Daylights, John Glen, 1987.
    https://screenmusings.org/movie/blu-ray/The-Living-Daylights/pages/The-Living-Daylights-515.htm
    Bond: Don't make any sudden moves, General. Go to the table. Sit down.

    Pushkin: I take it that this is not a social call.

    Bond: Correct. You should have brought lilies.
    https://screenmusings.org/movie/blu-ray/The-Living-Daylights/pages/The-Living-Daylights-524.htm
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 3,818
    Diamonds Are Forever, Ian Fleming, 1956.
    Chapter 8 - The Eye That Never Sleeps
    ...
    "Just one thing, James," he said, and his voice was serious. "You may not think the hell of a lot of American gangsters. Compared with SMERSH for instance, and some of the other folk you've been up against. But I can tell you these Spangled boys are the tops. They've got a good machine, even if they do care to have funny names. And they've got protection. That's how it is in America these days. But don't misunderstand me. They really stink. And this job of yours stinks too." Leiter let go of Bond's arm and watched him climb into the taxi. Then he leant in through the window.
    "And do you know what your job stinks of, you dumb bastard?" he asked cheerfully.
    "Formaldehyde and lilies."
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    Dr. No, Ian Fleming, 1958.
    Chapter XIII - The Mink-Lined Prison
    ...
    "You poor dears. We simply didn't know when to expect you. We kept on being told you were on your way. First it was teatime yesterday, then dinner, and it was only half an hour ago we heard you would only be here in time for breakfast. You must be famished. Come along now and help Sister Rose fill in your forms and then I'll pack you both straight off to bed. You must be tired out."
    Clucking softly, she closed the door and ushered them forward to the desk. She got them seated in the chairs and rattled on. "Now I'm Sister Lily and this is Sister Rose. She just wants to ask you a few questions. Now, let me see, a cigarette?"
    She picked up a tooled leather box. She opened it and put it on the desk in front of them. It had three compartments. She pointed with a little finger. "Those are American, and those are Players, and those are Turkish." She picked up an expensive desk-lighter and waited.
    Bond reached out his manacled hands to take a Turkish cigarette.

    Sister Lily gave a squeak of dismay. "Oh, but really." She sounded genuinely embarrassed. "Sister Rose, the key, quickly. I've said again and again that patients are never to be brought in like that."
    Chapter XX - Slave Time

    There was silence in the cool shadowy room where the meeting was being held. Qn the ceiling above the massive mahogany conference table there was an unexpected dapple of sunlight. Bond guessed that it shone up through the slats of the jalousies from a fountain or a lily pond in the garden outside the tall windows.
    Far away there was the sound of tennis balls being knocked about. Distantly a young girl's voice called, "Smooth. Your serve, Gladys." The Governor's children? Secretaries? From one end of the room King George VI, from the other end the Queen, looked down the table with grace and good humour.
    ...
    "What do you think, Colonial Secretary?" The Governor's voice was hustled.

    Bond listened to the first few words. He gathered that Pleydell-Smith agreed with the other two. He stopped listening. His mind drifted into a world of tennis courts and lily ponds and kings and queens, of London, of people being photographed with pigeons on their heads in Trafalgar Square, of the forsythia that would soon be blazing on the bypass roundabouts, of May, the treasured housekeeper in his flat off the King's Road, getting up to brew herself a cup of tea (here it was eleven o'clock. It would be four o'clock in London), of the first tube trains beginning to run, shaking the ground beneath his cool, dark bedroom. Of the douce weather of England: the soft airs, the 'heat waves, the cold spells-'The only country where you can take a walk every day of the year'-Chesterfield's Letters?
    And then Bond thought of Crab Key, of the hot ugly wind beginning to blow, of the stink of the marsh gas from the mangrove swamps, the jagged grey, dead coral in whose holes the black crabs were now squatting, the black and red eyes moving swiftly on their stalks as a shadow-a cloud, a bird-broke their small horizons. Down in the bird colony the brown and white and pink birds would be stalking in the shallows, or fighting or nesting, while up on the guanera the cormorants would be streaming back from their breakfast to deposit their milligramme of rent to the landlord who would no longer be collecting. And where would the landlord be? The men from the SS Blanche would have dug him out. The body would have been examined for signs of life and then put somewhere. Would they have washed the yellow dust off him and dressed him in his kimono while the Captain radioed Antwerp for instructions? And where had Doctor No's soul gone to? Had it been a bad soul or just a mad one? Bond thought of the burned twist down in the swamp that had been Quarrel. He remembered the soft ways of the big body, the innocence in the grey, horizon-seeking eyes, the simple lusts and desires, the reverence for superstitions and instincts, the childish faults, the loyalty and even love that Quarrel had given him-the warmth, there was only one word for it, of the man. Surely he hadn't, gone to the same place as Doctor No. Whatever happened to dead people, there was surely one place for the warm and another for the cold. And which, when the time came, would he, Bond, go to?
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    For Your Eyes Only, Ian Fleming, 1960.
    "From a View to a Kill"

    ...
    Twenty yards behind him the man with the gun took both hands off the handlebars, lifted the Luger, rested it carefully on his left forearm and fired one shot.
    The young man's hands whipped off his controls and met across the centre of his backward-arching spine. His machine veered across the road, jumped a narrow ditch and ploughed into a patch of grass and lilies of the valley.
    There it rose up on its screaming back wheel and slowly crashed backwards on top of its dead rider. The BSA coughed and kicked and tore at the young man's clothes and at the flowers, and then lay quiet.

    The killer executed a narrow turn and stopped with his machine pointing back the way he had come. He stamped down the wheel-rest, pulled his machine up on to it and walked in among the wild flowers under the trees. He knelt down beside the dead man and brusquely pulled back an eyelid. Just as roughly he tore the black leather dispatch-case off the corpse and ripped open the buttons of the tunic and removed a battered leather wallet. He wrenched a cheap wrist-watch so sharply off the left wrist that the chrome expanding bracelet snapped in half. He stood up and slung the dispatch-case over his shoulder. While he stowed the wallet and the watch away in his tunic pocket he listened. There were only forest sounds and the slow tick of hot metal from the crashed BSA. The killer retraced his steps to the road. He walked slowly, scuffing leaves over the tyre marks in the soft earth and moss.
    He took extra trouble over the deep scars in the ditch and the grass verge, and then stood beside his motor-cycle and looked back towards the lily of the valley patch. Not bad!
    Probably only the police dogs would get it, and, with ten miles of road to cover, they would be hours, perhaps days — plenty long enough. The main thing in these jobs was to have enough safety margin. He could have shot the man at forty yards, but he had preferred to get to twenty. And taking the watch and the wallet had been nice touches — pro touches.

    Pleased with himself, the man heaved his machine off its rest, vaulted smartly into the saddle and kicked down on the starter. Slowly, so as not to show skid marks, he accelerated away back down the road and in a minute or so he was doing seventy again and the wind had redrawn the empty turnip grin across his face.
    Bond took the D98 through the forest. When the great autoroute bridge showed up a quarter of a mile ahead over the road, Bond accelerated and then switched off the engine and coasted silently until he came to the Carrefour Royal. He stopped and got out of the car without a sound, and, feeling rather foolish, softly entered the forest and walked with great circumspection towards where the clearing would be. Twenty yards inside the trees he came to it. He stood in the fringe of bushes and trees and examined it carefully. Then he walked in and went over it from end to end.
    The clearing was about as big as two tennis courts and floored in thick grass and moss. There was one large patch of lilies of the valley and, under the bordering trees, a scattering of bluebells. To one side there was a low mound, perhaps a tumulus, completely surrounded and covered with brambles and brier roses now thickly in bloom. Bond walked round this and gazed in among the roots, but there was nothing to see except the earthy shape of the mound.
    Six-thirty. Time for breakfast. Cautiously Bond's right hand fumbled in his clothing and came up to the slit of his mouth. Bond made the glucose tablet last as long as possible and then sucked another. His eyes never left the glade. The red squirrel that had appeared at first light and had been steadily eating away at young beech shoots ever since, ran a few feet nearer to the rose-bushes on the mound, picked up something and began turning it in his paws and nibbling at it. Two wood pigeons that had been noisily courting among the thick grass started to make clumsy, fluttering love. A pair of hedge sparrows went busily on collecting bits and pieces for a nest they were tardily building in a thorn-bush. The fat thrush finally located its worm and began pulling at it, its legs braced. Bees clustered thick among the roses on the mound, and from where he was, perhaps twenty yards away from and above the mound, Bond could just hear their summery sound.
    It was a scene from a fairytale — the roses, the lilies of the valley, the birds and the great shafts of sunlight lancing down through the tall trees into the pool of glistening green.
    Bond had climbed to his hide-out at four in the morning and he had never examined so closely or for so long the transition from night to a glorious day. He suddenly felt rather foolish. Any moment now and some damned bird would come and sit on his head!

    It was the pigeons that gave the first alarm...
    Lily of the valley
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    You Only Live Twice, Ian Fleming, 1964.
    Chapter 7 - The Death Collector

    ...
    SPECIMENS LISTED BY CUSTOMS AND EXCISE
    DEPARTMENT AS IMPORTED BY DOCTOR GUNTRAM
    SHATTERHAND
    ...
    Gloriosa superba: spectacularly beautiful climbing lily. Roots, stalks, leaves contain an acrid narcotic, superbine, as well as colchicine and choline. Three grains of colchicine are fatal. Hawaii.
    Climbing lilies
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    The Man with the Golden Gun, Ian Fleming, 1965.
    Chapter 3 - "Pistols" Scaramanga

    At Blades, M. ate his usual meagre luncheon--a grilled Dover sole followed by the ripest spoonful he could gouge from the club Stilton. And as usual he sat by himself in one of the window seats and barricaded himself behind The Times, occasionally turning a page to demonstrate that he was reading it, which, in fact, he wasn't. But Porterfield commented to the head waitress, Lily, a handsome, much-loved ornament of the club, that "there's something wrong with the old man today.
    Or maybe not exactly wrong, but there's something up with him." Porterfield prided himself on being something of an amateur psychologist. As head-waiter, and father confessor to many of the members, he knew a lot about all of them and liked to think he knew everything, so that, in the tradition of incomparable servants, he could anticipate their wishes and their moods. Now, standing with Lily in a quiet moment behind the finest cold buffet on display at that date anywhere in the world, he explained himself. "You know that terrible stuff Sir Miles always drinks? That Algerian red wine that the wine committee won't even allow on the wine list. They only have it in the club to please Sir Miles.
    Chapter 5 - 3-1/2 Love Lane
    The south coast of Jamaica is not as beautiful as the north and it is a long hundred-and-twenty-mile hack over very mixed road surfaces from Kingston to Savannah La Mar Mary Goodnight had insisted on coming along, "to navigate and help with the punctures." Bond had not demurred.

    Spanish Town, May Pen, Alligator Pond, Black River, Whitehouse Inn, where they had luncheon--the miles unrolled under the fierce sun until, late the afternoon, a stretch of good straight road brought them among the spruce little villas, each with its patch of brownish lawn, its bougainvillaea and its single bed of canna lilies and crotons, which make up the "smart" suburbs of the modes little coastal township that is, in the vernacular, Sav' La Mar.
    ...
    "I prefer girls like you. What's your name?"

    She giggled. "I only do it for love. I told you I just manage the place. They call me Tiffy."

    "That's an unusual name. How did you come by it?"
    "My momma had six girls. Called them all after flowers. Violet, Rose, Cherry, Pansy, and Lily. Then when I came, she couldn't think of any more flower names so she called me Artificial." Tiffy waited for him to laugh. When he didn't, she went on. "When I went to school they all said it was a wrong name and laughed at me and shortened it to Tiffy and that's how I've stayed."
    Canna lilies
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited November 17 Posts: 3,818
    sunflower-vector-illustration_k13140544.jpg
    Sunflower
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helianthus
    Scientific classification
    Kingdom: Plantae - Clade: Angiosperms
    Clade: Eudicots - Clade: Asterids
    Order: Asterales - Family: Asteraceae
    Subfamily: Asteroideae - Supertribe: Helianthodae
    Tribe: Heliantheae - Genus: Helianthus

    Sunflowers are usually tall annual or perennial plants that in some species can grow to a height of 300 cm (120 in) or more. They bear one or more wide, terminal capitula (flower heads), with bright yellow ray florets at the outside and yellow or maroon (also known as a brown/red) disc florets inside. Several ornamental cultivars of H. annuus have red-colored ray florets; all of them stem from a single original mutant. During growth, sunflowers tilt during the day to face the sun, but stop once they begin blooming. This tracking of the sun in young sunflower heads is called heliotropism. By the time they are mature, sunflowers generally face east.
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    From Russia With Love, Ian Fleming, 1957.
    Chapter Twenty-Three - Out of Greece


    Hot coffee from the meagre little buffet at Pithion (there would be no restaurant car until midday), a painless visit from the Greek customs and passport control, and then the berths were folded away as the train hurried south towards the Gulf of Enez at the head of the Aegean. Outside, there was extra light and colour. The air was drier. The men at the little stations and in the fields were handsome. Sunflowers, maize, vines and racks of tobacco were ripening in the sun. It was, as Darko had said, another day.
    Bond washed and shaved under the amused eyes of Tatiana. She approved of the fact that he put no oil on his hair. `It is a dirty habit,' she said. `I was told that many Europeans have it. We would not think of doing it in Russia. It dirties the pillows. But it is odd that you in the West do not use perfume. All our men do.'

    `We wash,' said Bond dryly.
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 3,818


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQtBctYpwpzzAmR1hKTOXuoGSIGCU9-m22hy0bwv1FGws3wQ85luA
    Tulip
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip
    Scientific classification
    Kingdom: Plantae | Clade: Angiosperms | Clade: Monocots
    Order: Liliales | Family: Liliaceae | Subfamily: Lilioideae
    Tribe: Lilieae | Genus: Tulipa

    Tulips (Tulipa) form a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophytes (having bulbs as storage organs). The flowers are usually large, showy and brightly coloured, generally red, pink, yellow, or white (usually in warm colours). They often have a different coloured blotch at the base of the tepals (petals and sepals, collectively), internally. Because of a degree of variability within the populations, and a long history of cultivation, classification has been complex and controversial. The tulip is a member of the Liliaceae (lily) family, along with 14 other genera, where it is most closely related to Amana, Erythronium and Gagea in the tribe Lilieae. There are about 75 species, and these are divided among four subgenera. The name "tulip" is thought to be derived from a Persian word for turban, which it may have been thought to resemble. Tulips originally were found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia, but since the seventeenth century have become widely naturalised and cultivated. In their natural state they are adapted to steppes and mountainous areas with temperate climates. Flowering in the spring, they become dormant in the summer once the flowers and leaves die back, emerging above ground as a shoot from the underground bulb in early spring.
    While tulips had probably been cultivated in Asia from the tenth century, they did not come to the attention of the West until the sixteenth century, when Western diplomats to the Ottoman court observed and reported on them. They were rapidly introduced into Europe and became a frenzied commodity during Tulip mania. Tulips were frequently depicted in Dutch Golden Age paintings, and have become associated with the Netherlands, the major producer for world markets, ever since. In the seventeenth century Netherlands, during the time of the Tulip mania, an infection of tulip bulbs by the tulip breaking virus created variegated patterns in the tulip flowers that were much admired and valued. This phenomenon was referred to as "broken"
    .
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 3,818
    dr-no-99746.jpg
    Dr. No, Ian Fleming, 1958.
    Chapter XIV - Come into my Parlour
    ...
    Bond's eye caught a swirl of movement in the dark glass. He walked across the room. A silvery spray of small fish with a bigger fish in pursuit fled across the dark blue. They disappeared, so to speak, off the edge of the screen. What was this? An aquarium? Bond looked upwards. A yard below the ceiling, small waves were lapping at the glass. Above the waves was a strip of greyer blue-black, dotted with sparks of light. The outlines of Orion were the clue. This was not an aquarium. This was the sea itself and the night sky. The whole of one side of the room was made of armoured glass. They were under the sea, looking straight into its heart, twenty feet down.

    Bond and the girl stood transfixed. As they watched, there was the glimpse of two great goggling orbs. A golden sheen of head and deep flank showed for an instant and was gone. A big grouper? A silver swarm of anchovies stopped and hovered and sped away. The twenty-foot tendrils of a Portuguese man-o'-war drifted slowly across the window, glinting violet as they caught the light. Up above there was the dark mass of its underbelly and the outline of its inflated bladder, steering with the breeze.

    Bond walked along the wall, fascinated by the idea of living with this slow, endlessly changing moving picture. A frig tulip shell was progressing slowly up the window from the floor level, a frisk of demoiselles and angel fish and a ruby-red moonlight snapper were nudging and rubbing themselves against a corner of the glass and a sea centipede quested along, nibbling at the minute algae that must grow every day on the outside of the window. A long dark shadow paused in the centre of the window and then moved slowly away. If only one could see more!
    Chapter XV - Pandora's Box
    ...
    Doctor No said benignly, "I shall endeavour not to bore you. Facts are so much more interesting than theories, don't you agree?" Doctor No was not expecting a reply. He fixed his eye on the elegant tulip shell that had now wandered half way up the outside of the dark window. Some small silver fish squirted across the black void. A bluish prickle of phosphorescence meandered vaguely. Up by the ceiling, the stars shone more brightly through the glass.

    The artificiality of the scene inside the room-the three people sitting in the comfortable chairs, the drinks on the sideboard,'the rich carpet, the shaded lights, suddenly seemed ludicrous to Bond. Even the drama of it, the danger, were fragile things compared with the progress of the tulip shell up the glass outside. Supposing the glass burst. Supposing the stresses had been badly calculated, the workmanship faulty. Supposing the sea decided to lean a little more heavily against the window.
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    Octopussy and the Living Daylights, Ian Fleming, 1966.
    "The Property of a Lady
    "
    ...
    Hands were shaken, good-byes said and Bond showed the doctor out. Bond came back
    into the room. M. had taken a bulky file, stamped with the top secret red star,
    out of a drawer and was already immersed in it. Bond took his seat again and
    waited. The room was silent save for the riffling of paper. This also stopped as
    M. extracted a foolscap sheet of blue cardboard used for Confidential Staff
    Records and carefully read through the forest of close type on both sides.
    Finally he slipped it back in the file and looked up. "Yes," he said and the
    blue eyes were bright with interest.
    "It fits all right. The girl was born in Paris in 1935. Mother very active in the Resistance during the war. Helped run the Tulip Escape Route and got away with it.
    After the war, the girl went to the
    Sorbonne and then got a job in the Embassy, in the Naval Attaché's office, as an
    interpreter. You know the rest. She was compromised—some unattractive sexual
    business—by some of her mother's old Resistance friends who by then were working
    for the NKVD, and from then on she has been working under Control. She applied,
    no doubt on instruction, for British citizenship. Her clearance from the Embassy
    and her mother's Resistance record helped her to get that by 1959, and she was
    then recommended to us by the FO. But it was there that she made her big
    mistake. She asked for a year's leave before coming to us and was next reported
    by the Hutchinson network in the Leningrad espionage school. There she
    presumably received the usual training and we had to decide what to do about
    her. Section 100 thought up the Purple Cipher operation and you know the rest.
    She's been working for three years inside headquarters for the KGB and now she's
    getting her reward—this emerald ball thing worth £100,000. And that's
    interesting on two counts. First it means that the KGB is totally hooked on the
    Purple Cipher or they wouldn't be making this fantastic payment. That's good
    news. It means that we can hot up the material we're passing over—put across
    some Grade 3 deception material and perhaps even move up to Grade 2. Secondly,
    it explains something we've never been able to understand—that this girl hasn't
    hitherto received a single payment for her services. We were worried by that.
    She had an account at Glyn, Mills that only registered her monthly paycheck of
    around £50. And she's consistently lived within it. Now she's getting her payoff
    in one large lump sum via this bauble we've been learning about. All very
    satisfactory."
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    39379720-yellow-tulip.jpg
    Diamonds Are Forever, Guy Hamilton, 1971.
    Moneypenny: Mr. Franks...your passport is quite in order.

    Bond: Anyone seeing you in that outfit, Moneypenny, would certainly be discouraged from leaving the country. What can I bring you back from Holland?

    Moneypenny: A diamond? In a ring?

    Bond: Would you settle for a tulip?

    Moneypenny: Yes!
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    f23489004ddf0c9bd123d35ae4438f48--rose-engagement-rings-custom-engagement-rings.jpg


    t_c_cover_scan.jpg
    Thrilling Cities, Ian Fleming, 1963.
    Chapter VIII - Hamburg
    ...
    Rotterdam was in the grip of the spring _Floriade_ and then, from
    Leiden well past Haarlem, the thousands of acres of tulip and hyacinth
    fields spread their patchwork quilt over the dull landscape
    . Even the
    rubbish heaps in the fields were composed entirely of flower petals,
    and the Belgian cars driving back after the week-end were decked in
    huge garlands of red, yellow and 'black' tulips
    . It is the
    predominance of these harsh colours in the fields--the acres upon acres
    of red, yellow and deep purple--that tire the eye and the senses. The
    occasional fields of cream and slate-blue hyacinths are a relief, and
    in individual nurseries there are, of course, all the rarer varieties
    down to the tiny striped and spike-leaved tulips
    , but the great masses
    of colour in these strong tones are exhausting.
    ...
    It was the time of the Narcissus Festival, and the fields around Noël
    Coward's house (which he has not, after all, called 'Shilly Chalet')
    were thick with the flowers that were to line my route round
    Europe--tulips in Holland, lilac in Vienna, narcissi in Switzerland
    and, later, bougainvillaea and hibiscus in Naples. Alas, I had to
    forsake these innocent Alps (what is the definition of an Alp, by the
    way, and when does an Alp become a Berg?) and spend my days in
    Geneva--Voltaire's 'shining city that greets the eye, proud, noble,
    wealthy, deep and sly'.
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