Understanding orchids An uncomplicated guide to growing the world's most exotic plants

William Cullina

Book - 2004

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 635.9344/Cullina Checked In
Boston : Houghton Mifflin c2004.
Item Description
"A Frances Tanenbaum Book"
Physical Description
ix, 260 p. : col. ill. ; 29 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
William Cullina (-)
Review by Booklist Review

With 30,000 species, orchids compose the largest plant family in the world. Cullina's informative guide, with 300 color photographs, tells what to look for in buying your first orchid. Much of the book is devoted to a list of common orchid genera, detailing more than 100 of the most popular ones. Each entry contains information on where the plant can be grown (at a window, under lights, or in a greenhouse), the level of skill it requires to grow the plant (beginner, experienced, or expert), and lists a good introductory species that would be easy to grow. Cullina, the author of Wildflowers0 (2000) and Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines 0 (2002), also gives instructions on watering, light, potting, and fertilizing. This extensive guide includes a section on taxonomy and nomenclature and a glossary. --George Cohen Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Cullina has maintained a personal collection of orchids for decades, and still gets "that spine tingling, toe-tickling feeling of WOW" from an unfamiliar or outstanding specimen. It's a feeling he's eager to share with "orchid lovers at every level of expertise, from absolute beginner to experienced grower to expert." He succeeds in addressing such a broad audience by organizing his work into independent modules that can be consulted as needed. The first portion covers basic orchid information: detailed guides to growing them on a windowsill, under lights, in a greenhouse or outdoors, and practical advice on meeting their requirements for light, temperature, humidity and air movement in each of those settings. Cullina then systematically examines orchid culture, with in-depth discussions of watering, fertilization, potting and mounting, and pests and diseases. A brief but fascinating overview of orchid reproduction follows, with directions for hand pollinating, propagating and hybridizing. Finally, Cullina meticulously examines more than 100 of the most popular genera. Happily, a good number of these seductively described plants are rated for beginners (the other skill level ratings are experienced and expert). Cullina, who directs the New England Wild Flower Society, is extremely well versed in his subject and a skilled writer. His lively text, with its clear instructions, will make orchid growing as irresistible to readers as it is to Cullina. 300 color photos. (Nov. 9) Forecast: A tie-in with Cullina's lecture tour and promos at top orchid shows guarantee strong initial sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Unlike other recently published orchid cultivation guides, which are primarily picture books with cursory horticultural information, this one by professional horticulturist and former orchid nursery owner Cullina (Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines) is thorough and comprehensive. Offered in clear and engaging text are orchid basics, including watering, feeding, growing environments, and pest control, as well as encyclopedic descriptions of over 100 commonly grown genera. In addition, the author treats the fundamentals of orchid raising and advanced topics like water-quality improvement and a critical comparison of specialized potting media, which expert growers will find useful. As the book is written for orchid growing indoors or in greenhouses, there isn't much information about outdoor cultivation, which readers in the milder parts of the United States perhaps would like to have. The only comparable resource is Home Orchid Growing (1990) by the recently deceased doyenne of orchid horticulture, Rebecca Tyson Northen; this title is a worthy successor to that most authoritative guide and a most invaluable addition to any gardening collection.-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.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

We've seen countless guidebooks for would-be horticulturists wanting to learn the process of orchid-growing, with "easy-to-do" tips and guidelines. Those how-to's come and go, and each one may complement the others, but this is arguably the first truly complete resource for everything you really do need to know about the bestselling plant grown indoors (except at Christmastime, when poinsettias edge past it, according to the American Orchid Society). William Cullina, nursery director and propagator for the New England Wild Flower Society, who claims the orchid as his first horticultural obsession, is available for interview and will go on a lecture tour at publication time. In Understanding Orchids, the author hits on the basics of how and where and moves on to proper-care and troubleshooting tips. Reproduction gets extensive explication, with a chapter on hand-pollination that neatly delineates the level of expertise necessary for moving into such advanced stages. What distinguishes Cullina's book from others on the topic, aside from its staggering comprehensiveness, is its progression in the learning process, from the foundations to mastery. An A-to-Z encyclopedia of over 75 common orchid genera complete the volume. Demand for this information is greater than ever, and it's now available in one place--and just in time for the holidays. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.