The World of Wild Orchids
The World of Wild Orchids
See sample pages (PDF format).
184 pages | 165 color plates | 11 x 11 | © 2011
Biological Sciences: Botany, Natural History
“Orchids are one of the most diverse and successful families of plants, and can be found in almost every corner of the world. Christian Ziegler captures their beauty through his spectacular photographs, unveiling their mysteries and giving us an insight into their fascinating natural history.”
Cristián Samper, director of the National Museum of Natural History
“Orchid flowers have long been understood to be ridiculously fascinating, and this book shows just that, gorgeously. They certainly merit the ‘Oh my’ reputation they have acquired over the centuries. But, the problem for us mere mortals is that even if most lucky, we only bump into one in the wild every now and then. And here you have many of their kinds all at once, as though you were incredibly lucky in the forest, though of course there is no place or date on earth when you can see them like this. This new look is a fantastic and fantasmatic companion for any day when you are lucky enough to encounter one of these flowers, so unique as to turn any flower show into oatmeal.”
Dan Janzen, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania
“The images are stunning, a glory of colors and shapes, but this book offers much more. Ziegler—a trained biologist, as well as photographer—shows these remarkable plants in the context of their habitat: marsh, semi-desert, tropical forest. That—and his astonishing photographs of orchids and their pollinators—reminds us how clever, precious, and diverse nature can be, and why conservation matters.”
Chris Johns, editor in chief, National Geographic Magazine
“Orchids, often rare and tied to specific areas, are increasingly threatened by habitat loss and over-collecting. Ziegler’s book creates an unforgettable portrait of this incredibly diverse plant family, and through their beauty, engineering, and intricacy, he highlights the fragile interplay of life on this planet.”
Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and vice president of International Union for Conservation of Nature
"Photographer Christian Ziegler captures these sex symbols of the plant world in 150 portraits taken on five continents in environments ranging from tropical cloud forest to semidesert."—Scientific American
“Exquisite. . . . [Ziegler] takes you into the flowers’ wild habitats and leads you to the next level in understanding the functional basis of their aesthetic perfection.”
“Deceptive Beauties pairs gorgeous photographs by former biologist Christian Ziegler with a fascinating story of evolution and survival.”
"[W]ell produced, with a skillfully explained text accompanying the magnificent photographic record. . . . I commend this publication to all orchid lovers, especially those with an appreciation of orchids in the wild."
Colin Jennings | Orchids Australia
Table of Contents
Introduction by Michael Pollan
They captivate with their beauty and seeming fragility, yet orchids belong to one of the hardiest, most adaptable plant families on Earth.
For plants that are relatively rare, orchids are spectacularly diverse, with 25,000 wild species to their credit—twice as many as birds and four times as many as mammals.
Masters of deception, fully a third of all orchids promise their pollinators far more than they deliver.
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