Cover image for Orchids : from the Archives of the Royal Horticultural Society
Orchids : from the Archives of the Royal Horticultural Society
Griffiths, Mark, 1963-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2002.
Physical Description:
335 pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SB409 .G755 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Prized for their exotic beauty and astonishing variety, orchids are the royal family of the plant kingdom. Found in a dazzling array of forms and colors, orchids -- hard to obtain and harder still to maintain -- are treasured as the rarest and most exclusive of plants. This glorious volume illustrates the most exquisite specimens of the flower with botanical artworks from the unrivaled collection of the Royal Horticultural Society in England. Reproduced here for the first time are the stunning watercolor portraits commissioned for the Society's prize-winning orchid every year since 1897. These and other spectacular illustrations combine with a text by one of the world's foremost experts on orchids to make this the ultimate pictorial history and reference on the most glamorous flower of all.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

At first glance, this book appears to be yet another lavish coffee-table work showcasing this extravagant group of plants. However, it is actually a substantial volume, featuring paintings and drawings of orchids from the Lindley Library of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), London the institution that has played a significant role in promoting and fostering the development of orchid horticulture in the West. The first part features illustrations from a variety of sources, with accompanying text about the cultivation and natural history of orchids by Griffiths, editorial consultant of the authoritative RHS periodical, Orchid Review, and editor of The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. The RHS has been awarding orchids and commissioning paintings of the winners since 1896, and the second half of the book is devoted to reproducing these watercolors for the first time. There are a few flaws a couple of the watercolors are miscaptioned, and the text font is small and somewhat difficult to read but these are minor detractions from what is otherwise a fabulous work. Highly recommended for horticultural collections and larger public libraries. Brian Lym, City Coll. of San Francisco Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Griffiths offers what is essentially an album of beautiful orchid watercolor paintings and some published color illustrations from the extensive archives of the Royal Horticultural Society. Most of the more than 300 illustrations selected for this book have never been published before and are among the more than 6,000 portraits of orchids awarded the Society's prizes in the years since 1897. The author is a world-renowned orchid expert and has provided a 69-page introduction to the history of the fascination with orchids in the East and West. The main part of the book consists of what appear to be larger-than-life-sized illustrations, each accompanied by an explanatory note. An illustrated biography of 20 individuals famous for their involvement with orchids and also of the artists of the illustrations, a list of illustrations, and a subject index are placed at the end of the book. A beautifully produced pictorial history, recommended for libraries wishing to add to their orchid and botanical art holdings. General readers; researchers and faculty. L. G. Kavaljian California State University, Sacramento