Key summary

Welcome to my The Little Book of Orchids review! The Little Book of Orchids by Mark Chase, Maarten Christenhusz and Tom Mirenda is out now. Thank you to NetGalley for a temporary ebook. Published by Ivy Press it’s available in hardback and ebook. This is a great little book about one of the largest plant families. There is an introduction but the main part of the book is 75 orchid profiles. There is a nice range of species, some which are beautiful or unusual, and others which provide food (e.g. vanilla). The writing style is easy to understand and engaging. This a lovely book for people with an interest in orchids especially or nature in general.

My Little Book of Orchids Review

The Little Book of Orchids a great book if you want to get to know some of the orchid family a bit better. The introduction gives a good overview and covers major topics about orchids. These include: what orchids are, classification, lifecycle, anatomy and evolution. The 75 individual orchid profiles all follow a standard format. There is a colour picture of the orchid and description of range, habitat, conservation status, type and flowering. This is followed by a page describing their appearance and other interesting facts about the species in question. The profile ends with a map showing their geographical distribution. The book also has a glossary and an index.

A green slipper orchid with white marking on it's top petal, photographed by Sabina Michnowicz at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
A slipper orchid I photographed at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

I very much enjoy learning more about this fascinating plant family and then spotting which of the orchids I’d seen at botanic gardens. I like the wide variety of orchid types included and the range of environments where they are located. The writing is engaging and easy to understand. The glossary is particularly useful for some of the technical botanical terms. I find the facts about the individual orchids (such as mimicry ability) the most interesting part of the profiles. There are some countries I’d like to visit so I’m bookmarking a few orchids because it would be amazing to see them in the wild! A lovely little book which I can see myself dipping in and out of often.

Little Book of Orchids Cover Blurb

My summary of The Little Book of Orchids review

Orchids are elegant, exotic and mysterious. Discover 75 amazing examples in this beautiful little book.

One in every seven flowering plants on earth is an orchid, and they have been around since the dinosaurs. These popular and fascinating plants have evolved to thrive in a wide variety of habitats, and come in a huge array of colours and designs – developed to ensure they are pollinated, and thus survive.

Using beautifully coloured engravings, this book showcases a select few from this remarkable plant family. Featuring showy species, such as the Queen of Sheba and the spectacular big lip, as well as those with delicate petals, such as the royal butterfly and the felt orchid, this book illustrates the startling hues and striking forms that make orchids such popular plants. Ingenious flowers abound, with the vampire dragon, monkey-face and black fiddle orchids providing dramatic blooms, while several species, such as the bee orchid, are masters of mimicry, designed to fool insects into thinking they have found a mate.

Get to know these fabulous flowers in this handy little book.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Orchids are one of my fav plants and I have 6 orchids atm (none of them have flowers now though). I love the white and totally pink or violet ones best, I’m not a fan of flecked ones, and I prefer short orchids. I know, even in the department of plants I’m difficult. It’s great that you can find their origin in the book, it must be great to see them in the wild ❤️ Lovely review

    1. Sabina Michnowicz

      I’m so sorry for the late reply Inge! Thank you for stopping by to read and comment on my review – hugely appreciated <3 I'm so thrilled to hear that you're an orchid fan too 🙂 there is such a variety that I think it definitely helps to be choosy!! I also have about half a dozen but none are currently in flower, often if they've been like that for months I start thinking 'hmm, maybe this one has had enough' and I given them the benefit of the doubt for a couple of weeks and sometimes they surprise me.

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