Natural History Publications (Borneo), 247 pages, hardcover, dustwrapper, 168 colour photos, 238 black and white line drawings, 13 colour maps
Vermeulen, Jaap, O`Byrne, P.
This is the only book ever written about the orchids of Sulawesi. More than one century has passed since J.J. Smith published Die Orchideen von Ambon, and in that time books have been written about orchids in Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, New Guinea… in fact, all the major territories and islands except Sulawesi. This is quite an astonishing omission, because Sulawesi lies right at the heart of the region. It is the cross-roads of S.E. Asia, in a botanic and zoological sense. It is the place where the plants (and animals) from three totally different regions meet, mingle and interact. Sulawesi is unique, and so are many of its orchids.
Bulbophyllum, with approximately 1900-2000 species, is the largest orchid genus in the world. Although it can be found in tropical America and Africa, the majority of the species occur in S.E. Asia, and it is only here that the genus shows the full range of its diversity.
Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi is a scientific revision of the 123 species and 4 subspecies of Bulbophyllum that are found in Sulawesi. It contains descriptions of all 127 taxa, and illustrates the majority of them with colour photographs, line drawings, or both. Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi is organised into sections according to the latest developments in orchid taxonomy; 24 Bulbophyllum sections are represented in Sulawesi. Keys to the sections and species are provided. There is a chapter on the biogeography of Sulawesi (which helps explain why the island is so unique) and chapters dealing with the island’s forests and orchid habitats.
Unlike many orchid books which are dependent on recycling old material, Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi is the product of original research and fieldwork. This is how 60 of the species in Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi (an astonishingly high 47% of the total) came to be discovered during the course of this investigation.
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