The adventures of Penny's father, Frederick Brinsley Green, are based on the experiences of a number of Victorian plant hunters. During my research I read 'Travels and Adventures of an Orchid Hunter' by Albert Millican which demonstrates how plant hunting became little short of pillaging by 1891. Some areas which Millican travelled to had already lost their orchids to plant hunters and he spent several months felling 4,000 trees to collect 10,000 plants. Even after all this plundering many of the orchids didn’t survive the trip across the Atlantic to Britain. It was a dangerous business: Millican had arrows fired at him, had his camp attacked and was eventually killed during a fight in a Colombian tavern.