Cover image for The orchid in lore and legend
The orchid in lore and legend
Berliocchi, Luigi, 1953-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Fiore degli dei, l'orchidea dal mito alla storia. English
Publication Information:
Portland, Or. : Timber Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
184 pages, 16 pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SB409.48 .B4713 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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An elegant, historical survey of the orchid which treats the flower's place in legend; it chronicles the adventurers who introduced these marvels, then discusses the orchids place in art, literature, cuisine & even magic. Period engravings.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A compelling and pleasurable translation makes accessible the late Berliocchi's amply researched cornucopia of orchid lore. Recounting ancient myths and tracing the tracks of plant explorers, Berliocchi investigates the spell cast by orchids. Moreover, this revelatory chronicle reaches back to prehistoric times to survey fossil remains, then goes forward to offer a detailed history of the flower's beguiling form and exotic beauty in art, literature, horticulture, and society. Elaborated upon by elegant color plates, the book also contains copious illustrations depicting botanical images and unforgettable individuals. Final chapters survey plant structure, genera, and cultural requirements. Berliocchi's perceptive and richly descriptive narrative is certain to please orchid lovers, and will most likely spark the interest of those who have yet to discover these fascinating flowers. --Alice Joyce

Library Journal Review

This translation of Il Fiore Degli Dei by the late Italian garden historian Berliocchi is a welcome addition to the growing genre of literary works devoted to orchids, such as Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief (LJ 1/99) and Eric Hansen's Orchid Fever (LJ 2/15/00). In this book, the author explores the history, lore, ethnobotany, and cultivation of the fabulous flower. Some of the topics covered, such as orchid horticulture and the chronicle of orchid discovery by European plant hunters, are more thoroughly and authoritatively treated elsewhere in the orchid literature. However, Berliocchi's examination of orchid lore and mythology in various cultures and throughout history, the depiction of orchids in the arts and literature, and the culinary uses of the orchids will be new to most audiences, specialists and general readers alike. Highly recommended for most libraries.DBrian Lym, City Coll. Lib. of San Francisco (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.