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Flora's Orchids Hardcover – Illustrated, September 15, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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The orchid, one of the largest families of plants, could be referred to as a universal flower. Its ability to adapt to most climates makes it among the most diverse and widely distributed flowering plants in the world. There are 25,000 to 35,000 natural species of the orchid.

Flora's Orchids presents more than 1,500 varieties of this versatile plant, with entries accompanied by at least 1,300 stunning color photographs. The flowers are arranged in an A-Z format. Each entry first lists the scientific name in Latin, often accompanied by a Latin synonym and, where appropriate, the translated common name. Plant spread and height are listed both in inches and centimeters, followed by symbols indicating plant type, natural growing locations, growing conditions, frost tolerance, preferred temperatures, type of flower, and preference for pot or mount cultivation. The brief descriptions explain the type of genus, geographic area, and bloom and dormancy seasons. Cultivation advice includes mulching, treating dormant tubers, and propagating.

Especially valuable for aspiring botanists and average gardeners is the background information that precedes the dictionary text and explains orchid varieties, taxonomy, hybridization, history, cultivation, propagation, and more. The history section delves into the fascinating historical development of the plant for culinary and medicinal usage and also explores the use of orchids in folklore and literature. A detailed cultivation table for each of the species is found in the appendix.

All in all, the 12 botanical experts who contributed to Flora's Orchids have created an outstanding, readable, and easy-to--understand specialized reference work suitable for gardeners at all levels. Recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with pertinent collections. Ann Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Even those who claim not to like orchids will enjoy thumbing through this beautiful book."—Jerry Parsons, Pacific Horticulture, May/June 2006 (Jerry Parsons Pacific Horticulture)

"Describes and offers beautiful color photographs of over 1,500 orchids, far more than in most such books, in language that minimizes difficult botanical terminology, and it provides a glossary explaining important terms it does use."—M. Taylor, Choice, April 2006 (M. Taylor Choice)

"The book offers substance as well as style."—Janet A. Crum, Library Journal, November 2005 (Janet A. Crum Library Journal)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated; Slp edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088192721X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881927214
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Not only a magnificent book, but also a very useful update (and a replacement) to the out of date Encyclopaedia of Cultivated Orchids (Alex Hawkes), as well as more encyclopedic than Home Orchid Growing (Rebecca Northern) and far better photographed than my old edition of The Manual of Cultivated Orchid Species (Bechtel, Cribb, Launert), or similar texts on highly specific orchid plants such as the various (equally wonderful) books on Vandas and Catasetums. The few 'errata' that I've seen (a misclassified Nobile dendrobium hybrid, a flipped picture) and a handful of different hybrid names that I've never heard of (Kunthara vs. Burrageara) are minor. Exquisite pictures, readable text (without resorting to too much botanical jargon), beautifully laid out, this is a real joy to add to anyone's orchid library.
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Format: Hardcover
The style of this encyclopedia is quite pleasing and the colors are spectacular. I have two comments, however. First, the book is very heavy, unwieldy for a reference book. The second remark refers to the choice of clones, especially hybrids, that seems limited to the photographs on hand, leaving many interesting primary hybrids out to the advantage of many (too many) hybrids that are difficult to find, and, in many cases, not very interesting. The book would have been better if it limited itself to species, many of which are missing (e.g. about 15 Cattleya species)or to primary hybrids. Obviously a commercial choice of "pretty pictures" without much information, like parents... Additionally, botanicals are very sparse, although many orchidists are looking for information on them.

In other words, a hybrid book for non-experts, which must be supplemented by many other sources to be truly useful.

What species are there are well done.
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Format: Hardcover
This book truly contains a LOT of information. The pics are beautiful! The info is also for those of us who have serios orchitis and are past the beginner's inflamation stage... Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as a Christmas gift for my mother who is an Orchid nutbag. She was absolutely amazed at the book and how many amazing pictures there were in it. She said it's so big and has so much information that it will take her months to get through all of it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must have for any serious orchid enthusiast. Not a technical manual, but a wealth of photographic and species information. A must have. A very worthy investment, and as beautiful as any I have ever seen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been growing orchids for many years and during that time have purchased many books on the subject. "Flora's Orchids" is one of the better books. It is magnificently illustrated and informative (without being too technical). It discusses hybridisation, propagation, pests etc before starting on the main "A - Z" section. Where this book differs from most is that it also covers some of the hybrids of many genera (some well known and others may be less known). Each entry has "how to grow them" signs and at the back of the book is a Cultivation Table which I found useful as a quick reference when growing new species.

"Flora's Orchids" would be a useful book for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge on the kind of orchids they can grow, whether they are new to the hobby or a more experienced grower.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, "Flora's Orchids," is EXCELLENT! My sister, the "Green Thumb" in our family, first borrowed it from our public library, but it was so chockful of wonderful information and pictures that she borrowed it twice and wanted to photocopy some of the pages. That's when I decided to purchase it for her for Christmas and she was so happy when she got it! She reads it every night now and wants to read it from cover to cover! :o What can I say? She just LUVS orchids! :) We both highly recommend this book! :) Enjoy! :)
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Format: Hardcover
We sell orchid seedlings of all genera and species. The "Floras Orchid book is so handy when someone asks"what will it look like. We can show the parents of the seedling that they have purchased. We also import many species of orchids from around the world and,again when someone says do you have a picture? We can show a picture most of the time. The book does not have every orchid plant in it ,but it has most of the available and popular orchids. The Flora Orchid Book is very handy in a sales booth and reasonable in price.Just in case someone borrows it and forgets to return it your not out a large sum. Charles Fouquette Fouquette Enterprises
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