paper, 283 pp., $19.95
Recognized by taxonomists as the largest family of vascular plants, orchids are found all around the world except in deserts and the Arctic and Antarctic. There are approximately 25,000 known species of the orchid family (Orchidaceae), growing above and on the ground, upon other plants, and even on rocks. Of distinctive forms and size, they have two major growth habits, providing a major key to identification. Illustrated with line drawings and more than 60 color photographs, a large portion of the text is devoted to profiles of 150 favorite orchids. The individual narratives contain information on nomenclature, native habitat, flowering season, culture, and propagation. In addition to information of a general nature on plant selection and care, the authors supply tips on growing tropical orchids in greenhouses and in the home. Supplementary materials include an outline of the orchid family, an extensive, illustrated glossary, a botanical and common name index, and a subject index. Though somewhat technical, this is a valuable guide for both the experienced and novice gardeners who want to know more about orchids they grow.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden