First book on Maltese orchids
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First book on Maltese orchids

Orchids of the Maltese Islands, which is being launched today, is described by its author, botanist Stephen Mifsud, as the first book dedicated to Maltese orchids.

And considering its 232 pages of information, which are illustrated by over 300  photos taken by the author, it is likely to remain the definitive guide on the subject for a long time to come.

The guide book is the fruit of in-depth scientific research by the author over the past 12 years, which included the description of three orchids new to science. 

The book is ideal for acade­mics, students, naturalists, tourists and any members of the public who would like to learn more about this aspect of local biodiversity and to better appreciate what the author described as these “natural wonders”.

The orchid family is the second largest family of plants  among the 400 or more families that are currently known.

Orchidaceae, as the family is known in science, comprises about 22,000 species, mostly occurring in tropical regions in Asia, southeast Asia and South America.

The fascinating morphology, vibrant colours and intriguing markings or patterns of their flowers makes orchids among the most adorned, as well as the most studied plants in the world.

Orchids of the Maltese Islands is being launched at the Malta Society of Arts, 219, Republic Street, Valletta, today at 7.30pm.

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