"Rumphius’ Orchids" by Georgius Everhardus      Rumphius

Rumphius’ Orchids Orchid Texts from "The Ambonese Herbal" Georgius Everhardus Rumphius, E. M. Beekman

Publication date:
10 Sep 2003
Yale University Press
224 pages: 210 x 130mm
21 b-w + 16 color illus.
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A feast for orchid enthusiasts, botanists, historians, and biodiversity researchers alike, Rumphius’ seventeenth-century study of tropical orchids is now available in English for the first time

Rumphius (1627–1702), founder of Indonesian botanical exploration and one of the greatest naturalists of the seventeenth century, was the first to describe tropical orchids in a Western language. Within the pages of his monumental seven-volume Ambonese Herbal, written in Dutch, he included descriptions of thirty-six species of orchids found on the island of Ambon in eastern Indonesia, plus twelve uncertified ones. His detailed descriptions reflect both the accuracy of a scientist and the sensibility of a poet. This lovely book is the first to gather and translate into English all the sections of Rumphius’ The Ambonese Herbal devotedto orchids. For each entry, Rumphius describes the plant, names it according to a pre-Linnaean system of nomenclature, gives its locality, and details its medicinal and non-medicinal uses. More than twenty beautiful line drawings accompany the entries. The volume includes ample notes to illuminate the text and an informative introduction that tells the life of Rumphius—a remarkable collector/naturalist who overcame fire, shipwreck, and blindness to produce his masterwork.

E. M. Beekman is professor of Germanic languages at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

?This enjoyable pocket-sized volume reads more like nature narrative than a reference book. . . . Recommended for botanical collections and anyone with an interest in the fascinating world of orchids.??Amy Paster, E-Stream

?Books like this are not written any more because people with Rumphius? knowledge and writing skills do not exist any more. He paints a picture of the world he lived in, a picture no one else has provided and of great historical and ethnobotanical interest.??Henk van der Werff, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri

?A book filled with interesting tidbits of information that hold the reader?s attention. Enlightening and original.??Wesley E. Higgins, Director of Systematics, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Florida

?This book is a major addition to the orchid literature which has special meaning to South East Asia because Rumphius can justly be called the father of the botany and orchidology of the region. . . . Beekman . . . has written an orchid masterpiece.??Yam Tim Wing, Orchid

?This is an important addition to the orchid literature with special relevance to South East Asia. . . . It is a masterpiece.??Joseph Arditti & Tim Wing Yam, Plant Science Bulletin

"This work belongs in all libraries concentrating on systematics."?Taxon

"The first translation, and a very fluid one, of the fascinating orchids."?Taxon