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Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide Paperback – 15 Apr 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (15 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408105713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408105719
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

' The best guide to our orchids on the market, and quite possibly the best on any group of wild flowers and the pictures in particular are superb ' -- British Wildlife (June 2009)

About the Author

Anne Harrap is a botanist with a Masters in Ecology. Simon Harrap is an ornithologist and naturalist with an indepth knowledge of British nature and is the author of several books. He has seen and photographed virtually every British orchid.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent textbook/field guide including the latest names and up-to-date re-classifications for many species, sub-species and varieties. Well illustrated throughout with good quality photographs labelled with date and county. I feel the range maps may have been more meaningful had they been able to give an outline indication of either modern County or Vice-county boundaries, but this is rather nit-picking. I suspect the Site Guide section at the end of this book may prove to be of somewhat limited use but, sadly, due to delays in publication, it is too late to put it to the test this year! This book is a must-have for anyone interested in our wild orchids but it may turn out to be a bit heavy to be carried about in the field and end up more as a reference book on the shelves at home. I also have to wonder how long it would last in a "field use" situation before falling apart, or at least parting company with its cover...
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This relatively large "field guide" is perhaps better described as a "coffee table book"...it's far too nice to be subjected to the rigours of the field. The numerous pictures are well worth the purchase price alone, to take just one example, the Frog Orchid photos are the best I've ever seen in a published work of this unspectacular species, a difficult plant to capture on film.
The site guide part of the book seems comprehensive, but could have featured more places, perhaps that only have a couple of species, the sites featured are mostly those that have several species present.
My only real gripe with this generally excellent book is the authors' reliance on "genetic evidence" to determine the status of the various species.Two examples : "until recently Burnt Orchis was...in the genus Orchis, but genetic studies have resulted in its transfer to the genus Neotinea..." Since Burnt Orchid is, to say the least, similar to other Orchis species, this seems a bit like suddenly deciding that the Black Headed Gull isn't a gull at all, but a species of penguin. Similarly the split of Fragrant Orchid into three separate species is shown to be an exercise in hair splitting by the table on page
258.
Although this is a work for the general reader, generalisations like "Recently DNA evidence has shown...", in my opinion, must be at least partly elaborated on to justify the counter-intuitive arguments they support.
Having said that, the status of species and subspecies of British Wild Orchids is always debated hotly in books on the subject, and this guide has lots to recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
What a fantastic Book. This wasn't the first book I bought on the subject but it is the best. Fantastic photos are accompanied by detailed but clear information written with enough technical detail to satisfy most people without baffling us with too much scientific terminology. This book is either by the side of my bed or in my rucksac and I refer to it at least once a week.
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A delightfully written informative book . I now wonder how I managed to locate and photograph orchids without it .
A few orchids to locate this month. Then cannot wait until next May when I can start exploring sites I knew nothing of .
I wish that they had a similar book fungus . Just bought Simon's book on wild glowers
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For a newcomer the text is clear, the photographs relevant and illustrative of the text. The range, flowering period and location information is always extremely helpful to anyone wanting to go and see these fascinating species on location. It will be the foundation to any tour of Britain and Ireland for the photographer who seeks to emulate the quality of the photographs to be enjoyed in this volume. From May to August this book will be a traveling companion for any orchid enthusiast. More than that this book is a good introduction to orchid biology and habitats enough to whet the appetite for further study. In their introduction to this second edition the authors finish: "If we can help more people to enjoy, appreciate and value orchids and the places where they grow, our purpose will have been well served." For this reviewer they have most certainly succeeded.
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If you like Orchids then this is a must have book. Full of colour images, informative text and lists of the best places to go and find some. It's a bit more than a field guide though, more of a reference book but a great one it is to. Thoroughly recommended.
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Definitive ID although there will be some who question the taxonomy followed - but with this group is there yet a definitive answer if so let me know I have been studying them academically for 6 years and are more puzzled than when I started!
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Format: Paperback
For virtually anyone interested in native orchids in the BI this is a fantastic book for helping identify them, and more iportantly (and no other book does this), where to go and see them. Some people may disagree with giving locations of where these beautiful flowers grow at their best, but 99.99999% of readers of the book will want to help protect them, not destroy them. The book also gives the most detailed information about past and present distributions, and thus how many have suffered drastic losses in the past 2 centuries. Very good indeed - would die for a similar book that covered orchids say in the Med islnds, France or many other countries for that matter!!
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