Native Orchids of the Southern Appalachian Mountains

By Stanley L. Bentley

256 pp., 5.75 x 9.25, 119 color photos, 57 maps, 1 table, 2 figs.,, bibl., index

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2035-0
    Published: March 2014

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This authoritative guide showcases the unmatched beauty and diversity of the native orchids of the southern Appalachian mountains. Based on Stanley Bentley's many years of nature study, it covers the 52 species--including one discovered by Bentley and named after him--found in a region encompassing western Virginia and North Carolina and eastern West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The entry for each orchid provides the plant's scientific and common names, a description of the flower (including color, shape, and size), and information on the time of flowering, range, and typical habitat, all in the context of the southern mountains. A range map accompanies each description, and Bentley's own superb photographs are an additional aid to identification.

Using straightforward language yet incorporating the most up-to-date scientific information and nomenclature, the book will be welcomed by amateur naturalists or professional botanists looking for species in the field and by those who simply enjoy photographs of beautiful wildflowers.

About the Author

Stanley L. Bentley has devoted twenty-five years to studying and photographing orchids across America. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including Wildflower Magazine, American Fern Journal, and The Newsletter of the American Association of Field Botanists, and in several books. A native Virginian, Bentley has worked as a naturalist, a high school teacher, and a nature consultant, and he is currently employed by the school system in Pulaski County, Virginia, where he lives.
For more information about Stanley L. Bentley, visit the Author Page.


"Filled with great photography of 52 species of orchids found in the mountains of southern Appalachians. . . . This book is quite a treat for you amateur naturalists or professional botanists who happen to live, vacation or botanize in the southern Appalachians."--SIDA

"A welcome and invaluable addition. It is the first book that focuses in detail on the extensive orchid flora of these ancient and beautiful southern mountains. But this is no dry academic text. It is written in a conversational, sometimes almost folksy style based on the author's 25 years of experience in seeking out and photographing the orchids of his native Southern Appalachians. This makes the text easily accessible to the average reader. . . . Sparkling, crisply focused photographs."--Orchids--The Magazine of the American Orchid Society

"This latest book on native orchids is a real gem, one of the best --Systematic Botany

"In addition to magnificent photographs, this guide equips enthusiasts with a range map for each of the 52 encyclopedia-style plant entries."--Meridian

"The combination of habitat information derived from the author's experience and beautiful photographs places this volume among the best of the regional orchid treatments. It will be of use to professionals and amateurs alike who want to know more about Appalachian orchids."--John V. Freudenstein, Ohio State University

"Although the southern Appalachians are known to botanists and wildflower watchers as a botanical paradise, it will probably surprise and then delight many people to discover that over fifty species of orchids are native here. This book is the best treatment of these unique and fascinating plants available anywhere. The orchids have complex and decidedly three-dimensional flowers (owing to coevolution with insect pollinators) and the photography here is truly outstanding. Getting to know the orchids in our own backyards will lead to a deeper appreciation of the biological diversity around us. This book challenges all of us to explore more places, examine the world with more care and focus, and learn to preserve these hidden treasures."--Peter S. White, Director, North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill