720 colour photos; many B & W figures. A general introduction containing details of morphology, ecology, classification, history, nomenclature, conservation and a fascinating history of the orchid in cultivation, is followed by a detailed analysis of 217 genera found in cultivation. For each genus distinguishing features are given, plus native location, a history of its taxonomy, derivation of name and notes of its requirements in cultivation.
Under each genus is a list of species most suitable for greenhouse cultivation - over 1200 in total. Each species is described in detail, the information including diagnostic features, distribution in the wild, other closely related species, and the synonyms under which the species may be known.