In this book, Dan Torre explores the intriguing and multifaceted natural, cultural and social history of the orchid. Orchids are one of the largest families of plants – approximately 8 per cent of all the Earth’s flowering species. They are known for their beautiful flowers with bright colours, delicate forms and delicate fragrances. However, when we look deeper into their world, we find that they are much more than an elegant flowering plant and behave in unexpected ways that no other flowers do.
Philosophers have contemplated them; countless artists have celebrated them; millions of people have cultivated them, displayed them and even consumed them. Orchids occupy our thoughts, our stories, our societies, our greenhouses, our florists, our supermarkets and our homes. And that is merely the beginning.
Dan Torre is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Design at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He is an avid grower and collector of cacti, and author of Cactus (Reaktion, 2017).