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Book Review - Dendrobium and Its Relatives

If you are a fan of the Dendrobium orchid family, this is the book for you to own. Another excellent volume from Timber Press, this book is a wonderful resource. The three authors; Bill Lavarack, Wayne Harris and Geoff Stocker, have extensive experience studying these orchids in their native habitats and in growing them in their own collections.

Part 1 of the book covers the cultivation, ecology, conservation, classification and some of the traditional uses of the Dendrobium and itís relatives. The chapter on conservation goes into detail regarding some of the most threatened of these orchid plants. There are beautiful close-up photographs of these endangered orchids. Several sections detail the various threats to the future of these plants.

The chapter on cultivation is a fascinating look at the various ways that orchids can be propagated. Seed propagation and the subsequent care of the seedling plants is covered thoroughly. Suggestions are given for choosing the correct potting medium, containers and location for growing the Dendrobium.

Part 2 describes 413 species orchids, including at least one plant from each of the 48 recognized subgroups. Each plant description includes the distribution and habitat of the species, a general idea of the size of the plant and the name of the first person to describe the plant. Cultural details include temperature recommendations, lighting and watering needs. A color photograph shows the flower shape and color of each plant.

The final sections of the book include a glossary and an amazing list of sources for further reading keyed to each of the earlier chapters.

This is an important book to Dendrobium growers especially, but also to all orchid lovers. The conservation chapter is very informative and covers orchids of all types.


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