Days in the Cays

07 May

The most highly coveted of ornamental plants, the delicate, exotic and graceful orchid represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. In ancient Greece, orchids were associated with virility. There are numerous kinds of orchids but the black orchid is regarded the most intriguing and powerful of all. The Greek word “orchis” means “testicle” and is a symbol of virility. Ancient Greeks believed that they could control a baby’s gender by eating orchid roots. If they wished a son, the father would eat a large and new orchid tuber. If they wished a daughter, the mother would eat a small tuber. This belief, and other perceived magical sexual and spiritual powers of orchids, helped them remain popular into modern times.

Perfect for Virile Errol’s Hollywood Hot House, described below!

May 10, 1938

Harrison Carroll
Evening Herald Express

When Errol Flynn gets back from his Bahamas trip in about three weeks, Hollywood will get a floral novelty. He is bringing several hundred cuttings of a black orchid, found when he and Lili Damita were exploring the southern tip of Cat Cay Island.

His agent got an enthusiastic wire today ordering the ‘for sale’ sign off real estate the star owns on the tip of Laurel Canyon and instructing him to start building a modernistic hot house in which to grow the exotic blooms. Flynn plans to raise them for the Hollywood market.


Fascinating footage of Cat Cay Island circa when Errol first sailed there, shortly after he purchased Sirocco:

— Tim


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  1. David DeWitt

    May 9, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Took me away to another world although on the East coast in the Carolina’s you do see similar settings. THIS one is the stuff of romantic history, as far as I am concerned. Loved looking into the life on the island – and Errol once again goes after a cash crop!