By Merle A Reinikka
An interesting account of humanity's transforming into fascination with orchids from precedent days onward, including a biographical gallery of fifty nice scientists, naturalists, and explorers who contributed to our wisdom of orchids. The nomenclature and bibliography were up-to-date for this version.
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Extra resources for A history of the orchid
It was also the home of the famous naturalist-botanist G. E. Rumphius, who arrived in Ambon in 1653, a twenty-five-year-old clerk hired by the Dutch East India Company. Under a special retainer status he later spent his time in the self-appointed work of collecting, identifying, describing, and illustrating the indigenous flora of Ambon. He was the first to find and describe any member of the genus Phalaenopsis, the name then assigned being Angraecum album majus. The plants remained relatively unknown, though, until 1825, when the Dutch botanist, Karl Ludwig Blume, established the genus upon his rediscovery of the same species, known thereafter as Phalaenopsis amabilis.
In this manuscript both Cymbidium ensifolium and Dendrobium moniliforme were treated in a section under herbs. Lan Pu, a book written by Wang Kuei-lüeh during the Sung Dynasty (9601279), contained a treatise on orchids by Mao Hsiang entitled Lan-yen, which was reprinted in the Chao-tai ts'ung-shu. According to the late Dr. Yoshio Nagano, a Japanese orchidist and philosopher, a Chinese scholar named Kin-sho * wrote, also during the tenth century, a work known as Kin-sho's Orchid Book. In it, a history was given of Oriental cymbidiums, with the names of the first growers, geographical locations, cultural methods and the degrees of superiority of the many varieties of Cymbidium gyokuchin, also known by the names makino and soshin.
In The Plant-Lore and Garden-Craft of Shakespeare (1884) the Rev. Henry N. Ellacombe concluded that the "grosser name" given by the shepherds referred to Fool's Stonesthe common name given to Orchis masculaand that Shakespeare had really made reference to that species as being woven into Ophelia's garlands. Opinions vary that Shakespeare was either inexact in his use of plant names or that the common names of the various species of Orchis were loosely designated in his day. It is possible, also, that poetic license was taken simply for the sake of meter.
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