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Book Review – Guide To The Orchids Of Belize

in Issue 05 by

Guide To The Orchids Of Belize is the new book produced in 2009 by Belize Botanic Gardens (BBG) in conjunction with the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. The authors, Brendan Sayers and Brett Adams, have spent many years in the field collecting, and countless hours studying specimens. The convenient size of the book, specific data, and up-to-date information will quickly make it a must for the field and office.

The book is dedicated toKen duPlooy, founder of BBG, whose passion for orchids laid the groundwork for the conservation of Belizean flora in contemporary times. To date, the BBG stands as a foremost source of botanical information and conservation education.

A brief history of orchid collecting by both Gardens lets us understand the rich orchid flora Belize holds within its small borders. Thanks to the mutual efforts, some 30 species of the 312 recorded for Belize, have been new additions to the orchid list for the country. The anatomy of orchids is explained in a complete and understandable manner to a general audience. Topics such as: leaves, pollination, roots and habitats are all described in ample paragraphs and simplified language, making it easy to learn and retain the information. The book contains full color photographs of over 75 species of native orchids and abundant information – from the common and massive Myrmecophila tibicinusto the rare and elusive Pleurothallis duplooyiwhich has so far been recorded only in Belize. Over 50 genera are covered in depth, but more than triple that amount of species are cited with vital information such as: species descriptions, regional and local distribution, blooming periods, and species pollination.

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