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Wild Orchids Across North America: A Botanical Travelogue

By Philip E. Keenan

The best book on native orchids in years.

Newark Star-Ledger

Appealing to conservationists, travelers, orchid lovers, and naturalists alike, the author takes his readers on an incredible journey to pursue the 145 temperate American orchid species in their native habitats. This chatty account of his field trips in Canada and the U.S. is intended both to document many of our native species and to inspire others to respectfully explore the wealth of orchids. Includes 170 superb color photographs.

Awards for this book: Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Book, New York Times Editor's Choice - Best Books for Gardening

Media reviews

"Outstanding academic title"


"This is a fascinating book, both as a study of wild orchids and as a study of enthusiasm itself."

New York Times Book Review

"If I were to visit the United States or Canada at the right time of year, I should certainly want to take this book with me. As it is, it is a delight for the armchair traveler."

—Isobyl la Croix, Orchid Review

"Pick up this book and take a tour of North American orchids while sipping hot tea and curled up with a warm blanket. You'll be transported to various wilderness scenes as I was. The book will cause you to start looking for orchids wherever your path may take you."

—Diana Pederson, Suite101.com

"A delightful botanical reading adventure."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

"This is story that needs to be told."

—Marty Figley, Michigan Observer and Eccentric

"Philip Keenan brings a naturalistís eye to his passion and makes a convincing case for the excitement of the chase for orchids and the need for their conservation."

Gardens Illustrated

"Philip Keenanís orchid travelog kept me fascinated for hours."


"A beautifully done verbal and visual travelogue on nearly all of the 145 spp./ 35 gen. In 'North America excluding Florida and Mexico' with superb photos and excellent techn. Back matter."


"Wild Orchids Across North America is that great rarity, a book that is absolutely sui generis. We are treated to Mr Keenanís marvelous descriptions of countryside from California and Arizona to his native New England and to his passionate account of wild orchids."

—Allen Lacy, Homeground

"Keenen has a gift of putting the reader in the locale with picturesque descriptions."

—Suzanne Hively, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Itís the best book on native orchids in years."

—John Van de Water, Newark Star-Ledger

"An engaging botanical travelog. The descriptions are greatly enhanced by the authorís beautifully printed color photographs. A compelling, lively, and engrossing account of a naturalistís passion for a group of hauntingly beautiful and ecologically threatened speciesÖ Highly recommended."

—L. G. Kavaljian, Choice

"Keenan makes ... finding and photographing orchids, sound fun and satisfying in spite of problems with bad roads, heat, humidity, rain, fog, black flies, ticks, and tourists stopping to find out what he's looking at."

—Caroline McCullagh, Let's Talk Plants

"Illustrated by numerous bold-colored and even stunning photographs of various orchid species."

Palatka Daily News

"A down to earth and personal account of Mr. Keenanís passionate and enthusiastic journey throughout North America in search of these plants."

—Stephen Walker, New Hampshire Audubon Society

"This book is as rare a treasure as the plants it describes."

—Ken Druse, House Beautiful

"The authorís knowledge of his subject is indisputably first class, as are his authoring skills but what makes this book stand head and shoulders above the rest are the photographs. One of the best books to come my way in many a long year."

Alpine Gardener

"In the tradition of John Muir, Keenan shares with readers the pleasure of anticipation and the thrill of discovery."

—Downs Matthews, Wildlife Conservations

"[Keenen] has driven over 100,000 miles — and walked several hundred more — in pursuit of orchids in their native habitats. Nearly all 145 species native to North America are included in his discussions and photographs."

—Patricia A. Taylor, Trenton Times

"This is a joyous bookÖEven if your interest in orchids is not profound, it will be deeper and your appreciation of our great land heightened, after reading and enjoying this book."

—John E. Bryan, Gardening Newsletter

About the author

Philip E. Keenan

An inveterate traveler to, and photographer of, wild habitats, Philip E. Keenan crisscrossed the country many times. He was well known for his expertise on birds and wild orchids; his book Wild Orchids Across North America won a Choice magazine award for Outstanding Academic Title in 1999.

Read more about Philip E. Keenan

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