If there was something interesting about Dr Phillip Sylvian was the kind of people he had meet in his life: for a normal professor of botanic he knew interesting people at Ivy University: his teacher Jason Woodrue and several of his classmates (Alec Holland, Linda Ridge, Pamela Isley) would had extraordinay destinies related to their common interest in vegetal life. This connection would made him even cooperate with Batman in an ocasion.
However the person who than most impact in the life of Phillip was his childhood friend Susan Linden. Susan would end in an abusive marriage with a criminal called Carl Thorne and she asked Sylvian for help. Sadly, Sylvian couldn't prevent than Carl killed Susan.
Desperatelly Sylvian used his knowledge in botanic and cloning to revive Susan as a vegetal-human hybrid. This first clone would become the heroine called Black Orchid. Meanwhile Black Orchid was in her personal crusade, Sylvian give her support.
However when the first Orchid died and a new clone awoke, everything fell apart. Thorne traced the Orchid to Sylvian and caught him unaware. Sylvian died at the hands of Thorne but his legacy in the lives of the orchids survived.