Cloth $30.00 ISBN: 9780226779676 Published April 2021 For sale in North and South America only
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Extraordinary Orchids

Sandra Knapp

Extraordinary Orchids

Sandra Knapp

With a Foreword by Mark W. Chase
160 pages | 140 color plates, 7 halftones | 10 x 13 | © 2021
Cloth $30.00 ISBN: 9780226779676 Published April 2021 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $29.99 About E-books ISBN: 9780226779706 Published April 2021 For sale in North and South America only
Perching on tropical trees, partnering with fungi to reproduce, or deceiving birds and amorous insects to promote pollination, orchids fascinate. In the exquisitely illustrated Extraordinary Orchids, award-winning botanist and writer Sandra Knapp tells the stories behind some of the bizarre lifestyles and interactions that scientists have uncovered among many species of the orchid family.

Orchids deserve such a visual celebration: parts of the orchid flower have shapes unlike any other flowering plant, and the sheer number of species means they have a seemingly endless ability to create ever more fantastical forms. In fact, many orchid common names refer to the shape-shifting forms of their flowers—the “man-orchids” or “monkey-orchids” are so called because of their resemblance to the primate form. Orchids lend themselves to depiction, and botanical artworks of them abound. Who could resist painting or drawing such odd shapes?

Illustrated with stunning artwork, much from the archives of the Natural History Museum in London and never before published, Extraordinary Orchids includes depictions from celebrated botanical artists such as Ferdinand and Franz Bauer, Arthur Harry Church, and Sydney Parkinson, revealing the weird and wonderful lives of this most diverse of plant families.
Contents
Foreword

Preface

Life in the air

Roots of love

Monstrous forms

Interdependence

Cunning deceivers

Postscript

Bibliography

Illustration index

Index
Review Quotes
Library Journal
"In this captivating overview, she covers the biology of both terrestrial and epiphytic (tree-dwelling) orchids and explains how epiphytes are adapted to living in trees, even using a special form of photosynthesis. . . . The heart of the work is its collection of stunning full-color drawings, many from the archives of the Natural History Museum in London, including illustrations depicting beautiful flowering orchid plants and scientific illustrations showing the anatomy of the plants. . . . Orchid fanciers will relish the gorgeous color plates; readers new to orchids will appreciate the information on orchid biology, culture, and history."
BBC Wildlife
"Meticulously researched—as one would expect from Knapp, a senior research botanist at the Natural History Museum—this book is also lavishly brought to life with an abundance of artwork by a roll call of great botanical illustrators. . . . Full of captivating surprises and interesting information about this immense, diverse family of flowering plants."
Country Life
"Stories behind Dracula orchids, rattlesnake plantains, fairy orchids, and other fantastical forms come together in this beautiful tome. . . . Striking a balance between informatively captioned illustrations and essays, this is as much a visual treat as it is an academic one."
Flower Arranger
"Extraordinary Orchids delves into the weird and wonderful lives of this most diverse and exotic of plant families. . . . Stunning."
Meg Lowman, executive director, TREE Foundation, and author of "Life in the Treetops" and "It’s a Jungle Up There"
“Orchid lovers, old and new, are sure to enjoy this stunning celebration of the world’s largest flowering plant family—their bizarre partnerships, their amazing beauty, their pollinators, their diverse habitats, and their wonderful coloration and shapes.”
Sir Peter Crane, president, Oak Spring Garden Foundation
“Knapp is a terrific scientist and an excellent communicator of science to broad audiences. This book pairs her entertaining prose with the all-time greats of botanical illustration. Readers will also be delighted by the orchids themselves and their astonishing biology.”
Booklist, on Knapp's "Plant Discoveries"
“An internationally acclaimed botanist and taxonomy expert, Knapp presents the legend and the lore, the data and the details . . . highlighted by exceptional, never-before-published treasures from the museum’s extensive archives.”
Science, on Knapp's "Plant Discoveries"
“Scientific, historic, and cultural perspectives on plants that have been gathered from around the globe.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
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