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Phalaenopsis: A Monograph

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1604691719
ISBN-10: 1604691719
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Christenson devoted decades to the study of phalaenopsis orchids, and his definitive work promises to enlighten aficionados. While Christenson's monograph takes the form of a scholarly study, its detailed breakdown of subspecies, extensive color photographs, and engaging plant descriptions should fascinate newcomers who purchase millions of these plants yearly. Committed hobbyists and professionals involved in breeding hybrids will also find a wealth of stimulating data to assist in the cultivation of these distinctive plants. Alice Joyce
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"[The author's] definitive work promises to enlighten aficionados ... A wealth of stimulating data to assist in the cultivation of these distinctive plants."
Booklist, January 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (October 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604691719
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604691719
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,046,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Driller on June 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Eric Christenson's book is outstanding, unrival on phalaenopsis taxonomy and most welcome. There you will learn that Phalaenopsis amabilis var. formosa should be known as Phal. aphrodite var. formosana. Surprisingly the text doesn't mention var. formosana is fragant.
The photos are a big disappointment to say the least, not only they are alphabetically arranged and doesn't allow comparation among sister species, but most are poorly done for modern standards. In a work such this, it's incredible there are so few close-ups of the lips. What's worse, just one photo features a plant growing in the wild. Even Comber's book "Orchids of Java" gives more clue-photos of phalaenopsis growing in the wild than Eric's book.
The Content page mentions chapters on cultivation, fertilisation hibridisation, etc. DO NOT BUY IT for that! Browse Internet, "Orchids" magazine or any other orchid paper and you will find better information on that subjects than in Eric's book. Taking in mind this book has been sponsored by the International Phalaenopsis Association, it's a disappointment to read such poor written chapters.
Eric Christenson's book is a must have for any phalaenopsis lover with interest on taxonomy. Buy it just for that, but don't expect anything else. Anyhow, this is not the outstanding book it should have been.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Krischan on October 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The book contains about 323 pages composed of: 11 pages on history and distribution, 13 pages on orchid anatomy and basic taxonomy, 219 pages on each species, 21 pages on cultivation and growing, 15 pages on hybrids, 7 pages on conservation and the future, 27 page bibliography, and a 10 page index. 54 pages of color photographs (most pictures are small measuring only 2" x 3" in size).
Eric Christenson is a plant genius, an outstanding writer, and perhaps the most important orchid authority in North America. Sadly, this is not a well written book.
The text is boring. The descriptions are flat and uninteresting. Photographs are blurry and display unattractive flowers. Content is poorly organized. For example, photographs do not accompany the text description. Photographs are rather all lumped together in the center of the book. There are no maps. I have no clue where Borneo is and a map would be extremely helpful. In addition, I would have liked to have seen distribution maps for each species. Also, I would like to see comparative displays of the plant anatomy, rather than a drawing here and a drawing there. Was I suppose to flip through the pages to compare how species "A" differs from species "B"? Couldn't a visual taxonomic key have been written?
The book has major flaws. Still, I gave it a 4-star rating. Why? Because the remaining material is so critically important. There is an outstanding wealth of information about Phalaenopsis in the book. It contains historical reflection and modern observations. Major taxonomic changes are introduced and discussed. Much of the data is new and has not been observed before, at least not in this amount of detail. It contains excellent plant sketches and voluminous descriptions about plant anatomy.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard W. Burton on March 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is invaluable for several reasons but most easily summed up with the statement that "it's all here". Dr. Christenson is first and foremost a taxonomist, but unlike so many other scientists, he is willing to share his reasons for placing a particular plant in a particular taxon. Every species is discussed thoroughly, and in another rare move, almost all the points of information are the same for each species so that they can be compared with an "apples to apples" approach. All measurements are metric. The keys actually work. Even the photos are in alphabetical order. What is also wonderful is that there is cultivation and conservation information sprinkled throughout the book, not just in those chapters. His horticultural expertise, his conservation ethic, and his sense of humor makes this very readable cover to cover. This book will also be used. If his Encyclopedia of Orchid Species, which should be completed next year, is anywhere near as good, it will be the most important orchid book ever.
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