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Vol. 11(5), pp. 14The McAllen International Orchid Society JournalMay 2010

The Orchids of Nepal

Paul Martin Brown

The Orchids of Nepal
Bhakta Bahadur Raskoti
Publisher: Bhakta Bahadur Raskoti and Rita Ale
ISBN 993721726 1 2009 252 pages 900+ color photographs Hardcover 21.5 x 16.5 cm
$51.94 fob Nepal price varies depending on source and shipping costs

From the publisher: 10 years of research has gone into gathering the information for this book. More than 900 color photographs are used to illustrate the 302 native orchids found in the Himalayan area of Nepal. Most photographs depict the orchids in their natural habitat. It also provides information on distribution, phenology, ecology, conservation status and threats that may endanger them. An important tool for the botanist, the researcher and the Himalayan orchid lover. -- http://orchidsfloraofnepal.blogspot.com/

Available from the author at bbraskoti@gmail.com or at Koeltz scientific books (http://www.koeltz.com/search.aspx?t=advanced&keyword=097918).

Review

The deliciously enticing book would make many a wild orchid enthusiast pack up their bags and head immediately for the fabled land of Nepal. Nestled high in the Himalayas this country has more than 300 species of wild orchids, many of then fascinating terrestrials seen few other places. For those able to make the trek this book will become an indispensible guide to these often exceptionally showy orchids. For the rest of us, it is an armchair travelogue to a distant land that is the stuff dreams are made of. The book is well arranged in several sections with both a history and geography of the area as well as the extensive scientific information needed to explain what orchids are and how they work. The bulk of the book describes and illustrates 300+ species of these orchids, with multiple excellent color photos of each species. The descriptions are concise and do the job and basic information is given regarding distribution and status.

Fig. 1. Cover of The Orchids of Nepal.

For the North American orchid enthusiast the genera Goodyera, Habenaria, Liparis, and Malaxis are especially interesting as they have many species, some similar to ours, but several much larger and more colorful.

The only faults I can find with the book are that the Preface and Index are designed and printed in a small, pale typeface on a floral background that makes them difficult to read and from a botanical standpoint it would have been of much greater use if keys to the genera and species had been provided.

This book is highly recommended for wild orchid enthusiasts, botanical libraries, and armchair orchid travelers. It provides color photographs of species rarely seen in other publications. The color quality, paper, and binding are all very high and durable. The base price is very reasonable, but keep in mind that shipping has to be factored in depending on where you order the book.

Copyright © 2010 Paul Martin Brown