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University of Iowa News Release


April 12, 2010

UI Press releases new orchid field guide

orchids"Woodland and Bog Rein Orchids in Your Pocket: A Guide to Native Platanthera Species of the Continental United States and Canada," by Paul Martin Brown will become available from the University of Iowa Press April 15.

The publication is part of the Bur Oak Guides series of laminated field guides.

The book is available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at It is also available as a pdf e-book:

Native orchids are increasingly threatened by pressure from population growth and development but still present a welcome surprise to observant hikers in every state and province. Compiled and illustrated by long-time orchid specialist Paul Martin Brown, this pocket guide to the woodland and bog rein orchids adds to a series that will cover all the wild orchids of the continental United States and Canada.

Brown provides a description, general distributional information, time of flowering, and habitat requirements for each species as well as a complete list of hybrids and the many different growth and color forms that can make identifying orchids so challenging. For the woodland and bog rein orchids,
which make up some of the most delicate and subtly colored of all wild orchids, he includes information on nineteen species, four subspecies and varieties, and seven hybrids.

The genus Platanthera is the largest genus of orchids to be found in North America north of Mexico; the woodland and bog rein orchids comprise a significant group of species found throughout much of temperate United States and Canada.

The luminously green rein orchids, so-called because of the resemblance of some of the flowers to the reins used on horses, are especially abundant in rich woodlands, wetlands and bogs in the more northerly and cooler habitats. Most are easy to identify based upon their general appearance, range, and time of flowering.

Answering three simple questions -- when, where, and how does it grow? -- and comparing the living plants with the photos in this backpack-friendly guide and the information in the simple key should enable both professional and amateur naturalists to achieve the satisfaction of identifying a specific orchid.

Brown is a research associate at the University of Florida Herbarium at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. Founder and editor of the "North American Native Orchid Journal," he is the author of 11 books, most recently "Wild Orchids of the Northeast," and "Field Guide to the Wild Orchids of Texas."

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Means, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, University News Services, 319-430-1013,