Comprising some 28,000 different species, orchids are by far the largest flowering plant family on Earth. Every year, new species are being uncovered in the wild or created by humans, and so this number has only continued to blossom.
This book is intended for those who wish to learn about the multifaceted nature of this amazing plant. It covers many different aspects of orchid study, from its cultural history to its evolutionary development and from its first discoveries to ongoing scientific research. No matter your specialty or level of orchid expertise, you can find in this book new and fascinating facts and stories that will make you gasp, laugh, and read on. Through the many exotic and beautiful pictures permeating these pages, you will come to know something of the infinite diversity of this plant family and at last learn why so many orchid growers and fanatics have embarked on this same endless path.
"I was smitten with this book after reading the very first chapter on the history of Orchids...There are plenty of interesting facts to charm your orchid friends and impress even the most studied researcher... All in all a fabulous read that is well illustrated and with a reference section the likes of which I have never seen before with its vast and varied appendices on a slew of subjects. If you are looking for a book that is engaging and educational with lots of good humor thrown in, then this book is for you. I know that I will treasure my copy for years to come."
-- Laura Newton, American Orchid Society Awards Registrar and Accredited Judge, ORCHIDS Magazine (May, 2018)
"Joel L. Schiff brings to life not just the science surrounding orchids, but the human process of recognizing, cataloging, and appreciating them...It's this approach, combined with lovely close-up color photos throughout, which makes Rare and Exotic Orchids a recommendation not just for professionals or botany libraries, but for general-interest readers who will enjoy a highly accessible study that invites an in-depth interest in orchids and their importance to human affairs."-- Diane Donovan's Pick of the Month (April, 2018)
Joel L. Schiff was born in Chicago and has a PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He spent his career at the University of Auckland and has written three books on various mathematical subjects (published by Springer-Verlag and John Wiley & Sons). He has also been a successful part-time asteroid hunter and was the founder and publisher of an international journal on Meteorites, for which he was awarded the 2012 Service Award from the International Meteoritical Society. Having a life-long interest in art, Schiff is also an artist who paints in oils and in 2014 had a book published about the New Zealand/Australian/British artist, Grace Joel. Research led him to discover Marie Bashkirtseff, one of the most fascinating individuals of the 19th century, about whom his next book (2016) was published.
Preface.- Chapter 1 History of Orchids.- Chapter 2 What are Orchids?.- Chapter 3 Exotic Appearance.- Chapter 4 Deviant Sex.- Chapter 5 On the Scent.- Glossary.- Bibliography.- Index.