Brooklyn Orchids

Happy Early Holidays to Me: Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 1-6
Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 1-6

I’ve mentioned before how wonderful my husband is, and I have yet another example of his awesomeness to share with you. As an early holiday gift, he got me the complete, out-of-print six-volume set of Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated by G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay!

A little back story on how my husband heard about these books: he recently read my copy of Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen, which is a GREAT book that I simply cannot recommend enough for any orchid nerd (and it’s on my To Re-Read List, because I first read it years ago). Chapter four talks about Galfrid Clement Keyworth Dunsterville (what a name!), a British engineer and his wife Nora, who traveled throughout Venezuela from the 1950s to the 1970s on what sounds like an epic orchid collecting adventure. Their expeditions prompted the husband-and-wife team to write literally thousands of pages describing the orchids they encountered along the way, complete with detailed illustrations of each. These six volumes, which include introductions in both English and Spanish, cover 1,000 Venezuelan orchid species, and they are beautiful—so of course I took photos:

Vol. 1
Vol. 1 describes 200 orchid species.
Vol. 2 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 2 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 3 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 3 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 4 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 4 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 5 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 5 describes 150 orchid species.
Vol. 6 describes 200 orchid species.
Vol. 6 describes 200 orchid species.

My favorite genus, Zygopetalum, is included! Here’s just one example of the lovely illustrations found throughout these books:

Plate from Vol. 3 illustrating Zygopetalum Burkei RCHB.F.
Plate from Vol. 3 illustrating Zygopetalum Burkei RCHB.F.

If you’re interested in getting one or all of these books for yourself, they’re available on Amazon (though my husband managed to find a reasonably priced full set on ebay, so that’s another option).

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 1

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 2

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 3

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 4

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 5

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 6

Volume 6 tends to be more expensive because apparently it’s harder to find.

I’m going to have so much fun going through these books and learning more about orchids. A huge THANK YOU to my husband for hunting these down!

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