Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East Hardcover – 4 Oct 2006
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"The photographs are excellent... [and] the text is very
informative... I do recommend this book to anyone with an interest in
European wild orchids." -- The Orchid Review, March/April 2007
"The book contains many superb photographs of the different orchid species and I spent several happy sessions looking up old friends found on European holidays. The descriptions of individual species are excellent and very detailed." -- Wild Flower Magazine, Summer 2007
About the Author
Pierre Delforge has studied orchids, observed the evolution of their habitats and protected them for more than 35 years in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He has written many publications on the subject and is an adviser on European orchids for the IUCN - The World Conservation Union.
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Top Customer Reviews
All of this information is good, and contained within a compact, very portable guide, that can be easily carried in the field.
That said, there are three drawbacks to this book, the biggest of which is the lack of distribution maps for each species. The distribution text is often disappointingly brief (e.g. 'Mediterranean, east to the Transcaucasus'), and a list of countries is provided, with no hint as to how widely distributed a species is within each of those countries (exactly the information a map would provide).
A less serious drawback is that common names for widespread species are not included at all (although plenty of synonym and photo credit information is) - an omission that would make the book more intimidating and confusing to novices.
Finally, within the text there is no cross-referencing between similar species to help someone discriminate between them in the field. Each species is described in thorough botanical detail, but you will have to trawl through this for each species to decide which one you have seen. For Ophrys species, etc, this may take some time given the number of similar species! Parallel annotated drawings would be much quicker and easier to use.
This really is a good practical book, but perhaps the publishers could consider a slightly larger format in a future edition to accommodate some extra features to improve the book for less expert users.
"Orchids of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East" is a comprehensive field guide and reference work, covering over 500 species of wild orchids found in Europe, North Africa, Turkey, Israel, Syria, Jordan and the Sinai. All of Europe is covered, including Russia west of the Urals. So are the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores. Most species are illustrated with photographs, both a photo showing the entire plant, and close ups on the flowers. (The Ophrys species are only illustrated with close ups.) Two rare species from Algeria are illustrated by colour drawings, presumably because no photos of them exist. Each species presentation contains a detailed description of the plant, information on its scientific name, habitat and approximate range. The most common pollinators of each species are also mentioned, as are hybrids and aberrant varieties. Identification keys are included. One negative is that no vernacular names are included, giving the guide as a somewhat "elitist", "professional botanists only" impression.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I discovered this excellent book through seeing a Danish translation and was able to track it down quickly thorough AmazonPublished on 2 Nov. 2013 by Ian W
Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East
I was looking for a book to cover some of the orchid plants in collection.
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