120 pages, 63 colour photos, b/w line drawings, b/w distribution maps
From the book's objectives:
"This book is aimed principally at the unconverted, but I have tried also to present helpful and up-to-date information which is of interest to the more knowledgeable botanist, particularly in areas subject to recent and continuing research, such as the Hefleborines and Dactylorchids My classifications broadly follow Flora Europaea Vol. 5, (Tutin et al 1980) with the exceptions of Epipactis phyllanthes (where I follow the late Dr. D. P. Young (1952 and 1962)) and the Dactylorchids, in which I am myself closely involved in current research, and in which I follow R. M. Bateman and I. Denholm (1983, 1985 and 1989).
I have set out in particular to fill what I see as two major gaps in orchid literature. Firstly have attempted to combine in one volume an account, albeit sketchy, of the relationship between geology, soils and habitat, and their associated orchid flora. An idea of the extent to which these various aspects are divorced from each other in botanical literature will be gained from an examination of the research references which I have had to use just to produce the brief account in this book. Secondly, most botanical reference books, with a few significant exceptions, make heavy weather of the identification of critical species by means of dry textual scientific descriptions or the ubiqmtous flower 'keys'. There seems to me to be no substitute for good quality colour photographs, including full plant shots to show leaf information and markings, overall appearance and something of habitat, and close-up shots to reveal the fine detail of floral structure, colour and markings that so often contribute to an accurate identification. The colour plates are prepared from transparencies afl of which I have taken myself, mostly in Dorset – the few exceptions are clearly identified.
Working on the assumption that public awareness and concern are vital to the continued survival of some of our rarest and most beautiful plants, I have attempted in this book to enable those with little or no knowledge of our native orchids to identify them accurately, and thus come to a greater appreciation of their worth. An increase in accurate recording and notification of species to the conservation and recording authorities would be an invaluable by-product of such increased knowledge.
We have a rich heritage in Dorset: it is our duty to bring it to as wide a respectful public as possible, and to foster a sense of caring collective responsibility and sharing in community wealth
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