Wild Orchids of the Algarve: how, when and where to find them

by Sue Parker

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Wild Orchids of the Algarve - how, when and where to find them, by Sue Parker

"An essential guide for anyone interested in southern Europe's wild orchids, this beautifully-illustrated authoritative guidebook encapsulates the experience of 16 years of conscientious on-location searching, study and research in southern Portugal's famous Algarve region."

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This book is available in Portugal via: Rosie Peddle (Email enquiries...) - Secretary, Mediterranean Gardening Association Portugal...


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Despite its small geographical area, Portugal’s Algarve region is home to at least 1500 native wildflower species including more than 30 wild orchids. For tourists and residents alike these are major attractions of the very varied Algarve countryside.

For newcomers in particular, wild orchids can be hard to find and even harder to identify. Wild Orchids of the Algarve solves these problems, providing easy-to-follow introductions to the biology and habitats of orchids, and explaining in non-scientific language why the Algarve is such a special place.

Sample pages

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More than 200 colour photographs of the orchids, both in their natural settings and as stunning close-up pictures of their flowers, ensure that readers will be able to identify the orchids they find on countryside rambles.

An illustrated Table of Contents and a pictorial Glossary of Botanical Terms make this a uniquely accessible guidebook.

Written by author and broadcaster Sue Parker, this first ever comprehensive guide to the wild orchids of the Algarve is based on 16 years of research and photography in the Algarve region of southern Portugal.

Wild Orchids of the Algarve - how, when and where to find them, by Sue Parker:
ISBN: 978-0-9560544-8-7; 128 pages, full colour, Hardback binding. RRP £18.50

Review comments by orchid experts:

A comprehensive guide to the orchids specific to the Algarve with notes on occurrence and identification.  The photographic material is excellent – people will undoubtedly be able to identify the orchids they find using this book.’ Dr. Finn Rasmussen. 

‘A great achievement’ – Dr. Chris Thorogood, author of Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Algarve.

Congratulations on your marvellous and complete book about Algarve Orchids’.  Américo Pereira, Orquideas Soltas

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More about this book

• A superbly illustrated, authoritative guide to the wild orchids that are known to occur in the Algarve

• Written and illustrated by a naturalist with sixteen years’ of orchid hunting experience in the Algarve region

• A guide to the range of Algarve habitats from seashore to mountain top

• More than 200 beautiful photographs of wild orchids, including plant-in-habitat and flower close-up pictures

• The orchid hunter’s guide to the Algarve’s best sites and walks

• Packed with fascinating facts about orchid biology, photographic tips and advice for newcomers to orchid hunting

This book also includes an illustrated identification guide to each of the Algarve's wild orchids, with scientific names and (where they are in common use) English names and Portuguese names.

About the Author

Sue ParkerNaturalist Sue Parker’s fascination with orchids stems from her childhood in the Far East. The colourful wildflowers growing over her garden fence in Singapore were the kind of exotic orchids that many people in Europe now have in pots on windowsills. The search for wild orchids has taken Sue to many countries; but, as she says, there is a special satisfaction in finding and identifying beautiful orchids close to home – and for the past 16 years Sue’s home in Carvoiero has been a base for studying the Algarve’s wonderful wildflowers and, in particular, its wild orchids. (Sue also has a home in Wales, which serves as her main ‘writing’ base.)

An active conservationist, Sue is the author of 12 books and several dozen articles on wildlife and countryside topics; she is well known in the Algarve for her column on Sustainable Living, which is published monthly in the Algarve Resident newspaper. Sue’s introductory guide ‘Wild Orchids in the Algarve’ has been one of the Algarve’s bestsellers since it was published in 2009. This new book, covering many more species and providing a wealth of additional information on top orchid sites, walks and much more, is surely destined to become an essential handbook for Algarve residents and visitors alike. Sue produced and maintains the Algarve Wildlife website whose pages are visited nearly 200,000 times a year.

Sue Parker's other books include Wild Orchids of the Algarve, how, when and where to find them, and Wild Orchids in The Burren (the latter being co-authored with her husband Pat O'Reilly).

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