During recent years, methods of molecular biology have decisively clarified the relationships of many groups of plants. Within this book the authors offer a well-founded clarification of this world wide distributed group of orchids. The presentation of phylogenetic fundamentals is completed with keys to determine the species and subspecies, and by the description of all included taxa, their delimitation to each other, their variability, ecology, biology, distribution, and threat.
Opening chapters describe the history of the exploration of the genus Cypripedium and give an overview of the new methods on which these taxa have been founded. Previously unseen details of vegetative and generative phases, structures of flowers, SEM images of pollinaria and seeds, along with photographs of all species, subspecies and types within their habitat, and maps of their distribution; for the first time ever, all hybrids of these genera are presented with descriptions and photographs.
The book offers an overview of this genus and will be an essential aid to determining each species, subspecies and their hybrids, which can sometimes be extremely difficult.