By Philip E. Keenan
Beautiful to conservationists, tourists, orchid fans, and naturalists alike, the writer takes his readers on a massive trip to pursue the one hundred forty five temperate American orchid species of their local habitats. This chatty account of his box journeys in Canada and the U.S. is meant either to rfile lots of our local species and to encourage others to respectfully discover the wealth of orchids. comprises one hundred seventy terrific colour photos.
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Additional info for Wild orchids across North America: a botanical travelogue
I happen to be in the lead, some 50 yards (45 m) or so ahead of the group when, suddenly, the biggest grizzly-size black bear I've ever seen ambles out of the brush onto a side trail that connects with the one I am on, only 50 yards (45 m) or so to my right. I stop. He stops. We stare, each deciding his next move, he whether to continue coming my way, and I, momentarily indecisive, whether to slowly raise my camera for a quick picture, or somehow signal the rest of the group behind me without scaring off the bear.
Johnsbury, Vermont, that the affliction known as "orchid madnessa very pleasant disease" took hold and never let go. Like many before me, I was deeply moved by the extraordinary blooms of Cypripedium acaule and the striking leaves of Goodyera pubescens (rattlesnake plantain). Like the entrepreneur who bought the electric shaver company because he fell in love with the product, I bought the parcel with those goodyeras. Orchid madness indeed! Since then I have driven more than 100,000 miles, walked several hundreds of miles, and flown to all parts of the country while taking thousands of photographsall in pursuit of the elusive orchid.
He writes, there are a select few plants whose range, while fairly broad, is limited in ways that make it a very special occasion to encounter them. Surely the lady's-slippers fall into this category. Here in Alaska, two species are fairly common, Cypripedium passerinum and C. guttatum, the former the more abundant, being found throughout most of the interior of the state. Page 30 He goes on to describe his first meeting with C. guttatum in the Homer area, on the southern coast. In any event, Cypripedium guttatum was "numero uno" on my list of must-see for almost thirty years, and so, on the afternoon of 19 June 1995, the day of first-hand judgment finally arrives.
Wild orchids across North America: a botanical travelogue by Philip E. Keenan