One of every seven flowering plants on earth is an orchid. Some are stunningly over the top; others almost inconspicuous. The Orchidaceae is the second most widely geographically distributed family, after the grasses, yet remains one of the least understood. This book will profile 600 species, representing the remarkable and unexpected diversity and complexity in the taxonomy and phylogeny of these beguiling plants, and the extraordinary means they have evolved in order to ensure the attraction of pollinators. Each species will be photographed to capture its delicate detail, and shown life-size, giving a strong visual theme to the book, and each is accompanied by text offering an in-depth species profile. Pagg. 656, rilegato.