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Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids


Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Confucius called them the and#8220;king of fragrant plants,and#8221; and John Ruskin condemned them as and#8220;prurient apparitions.and#8221; Across the centuries, orchids have captivated us with their elaborate exoticism, their powerful perfumes, and their sublime seductiveness.
But the disquieting beauty of orchids is an unplanned marvel of evolution, and the story of orchids is as captivating as any novel. As acclaimed writer Michael Pollan and National Geographic photographer Christian Ziegler spin tales of orchid conquest in Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids, we learn how these flowers can survive and thrive in the harshest of environments, from tropical cloud forests to the Arctic, from semi-deserts to rocky mountainsides; how their shapes, colors, and scents are, as Darwin put it, and#8220;beautiful contrivancesand#8221; meant to dupe pollinating male insects in the strangest ways. What other flowers, after all, can mimic the pheromones and even appearance of female insects, so much so that some male bees prefer sex with the orchids over sex with their own kind?
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; And insects arenand#8217;t the only ones to fall for the orchidsand#8217; charms. Since the and#8220;orchideliriumand#8221; of the Victorian era, humans have braved the wilds to search them out and devoted copious amounts of time and money propagating and hybridizing, nurturing and simply gazing at them. This astonishing book features over 150 unprecedented color photographs taken by Christian Ziegler himself as he trekked through wilderness on five continents to capture the diversity and magnificence of orchids in their natural habitats. His intimate and astonishing images allow us to appreciate up close natureand#8217;s most intoxicating and deceptive beauties.

About the Author

Christian Ziegler is a biologist-turned-photographer specializing in tropical natural history. He is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Magazine, GEO, and Smithsonian, among others. He is an associate for communication with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation photographers.

Product Details

Ziegler, Christian
University of Chicago Press
Angier, Natalie
Pollan, Michael
Nature Studies-Wild Flowers General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
165 color plates
11 x 11 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Nature and Landscape
Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » Orchids and Epiphytes
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Botany » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Botany
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Wild Flowers General

Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids New Hardcover
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Product details 184 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226982977 Reviews:
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