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Orchids are among the most popular and widely collected of plant families, with tropical species and hybrids being cultivated the world over for their remarkable flowers. The aim of Genera Orchidacearum is to produce a robust and natural classification of the orchids, something which has eluded plant scientists and orchid enthusiasts for years. The editors, who are all distinguished orchid specialists, will incorporate the wealth of new molecular data into a truly phylogenetic classification, and will identify the areas and taxa needing additional work. To this end, they will draw on the experience of several international contributors.
Genera Orchidacearum will be published in a total of six volumes over 15 years, with each volume providing comprehensive coverage of one or two orchid subfamilies. The series as a whole will be an absolutely indispensable reference tool both for scientists, and orchid breeders, collectors, and enthusiasts.
This, the first volume of the Genera Orchidacearum, begins with several general introductory chapters outlining the long history of the efforts of plant scientists and breeders to provide a scientific classification of the orchids. The book goes on to provide descriptions of each of the Apostasioideae and Cypripedioideae subfamilies which comprise around 150 species in seven genera. Very comprehensive descriptions are provided for each of the genera, including the complete nomenclature and type citation, distribution, anatomy, palynology, embryology, cytogenetics, ecology, phenology and pollination, phytochemistry, phylogenetics, cultivation, economic uses, taxonomic notes, and a select bibliography. The Cypripedioideae include the slipper orchids, arguably the most attractive and popular orchids of all, and this volume should have an especially wide appeal as a result. In addition, it is beautifully illustrated with many line drawings and colour photographs.