For decades after the appearance of the first tropical orchids in the British Isles, enraptured gardeners built hothouses and essayed all manner of methods to coax their fabulously expensive Cattleyas and Oncidiums to bloom. Nursery catalogs record orchids for sale as early as 1804, but few understood the needs of these unusual plants until the breakthrough of 1851. That year Benjamin Samuel Williams published a series of articles under the title “Orchids for the Millions.” Together with Robert Warner, Williams went on to write his magnum opus, The Orchid Album, published in eleven volumes from 1882 to 1897. The illustrations—hand-tinted lithographs on royal quarto pages measuring ten by twelve inches—are by John Nugent Fitch, a printmaker who often worked for the Linnean Society. For the present set of notecards, four exceptional plants were selected from a copy of The Orchid Album in the collection of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Contains five each of the following note cards:
Lælia grandis tenebrosa
Cattleya labiata foleyana