Orchids of the Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

Orquídeas da Chapada Diamantina

Antonio L. V. Toscano de Brito & Phillip Cribb

About the authors

Dr Antonio Luiz Vieira Toscano de Brito is a postgraduate of the University of Reading/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (supervised by Dr Phillip Cribb), and is now an independent scientist, living in Rio de Contas, Bahia, where he is the owner of a restaurant, the Orchidarium. Dr Phillip J Cribb was, until recently, Curator of the Orchid Herbarium and the Deputy Keeper of the Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; he retired from the staff in early March 2006.


Dr Ray Harley (Honorary Research Fellow, Kew: Introduction), Dr Nicholas Hind (Head of the Compositae sub-section, Kew: collaborator in the Biographic Notes and translation of all Portuguese text into English) and Eric Smidt (formerly a masters student of Toscano's and now a PhD student at the Univerisdade Estadual de Feira de Santana). Eric was recently awarded a Margaret Mee Fellowship Programme scholarship to study the genus Bulbophyllum.

The artwork is by Paulo Ormindo, the seventh Margaret Mee Fellowship Programme's Artist Scholar (1995). This includes 135 black and white line drawings and 15 water colour plates. Paulo spent several months painting and drawing the orchids in the wild, in cultivation or from spirit material. Paulo is a teacher at the Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. Calil Neto, an internationally-known photographer, provided 140 photographs showing habitats of the Chapada Diamantina, together with plant portraits of many of the orchids.

The book

Of the estimated 2,500 species of orchids in Brazilian territories, approximately 300 occur in the Chapada Diamantina in Bahia. Some of these are rare and others have yet to be described. The book is in two parts, the first (Portuguese - c. 320pp.) being wide two-column format text accompanied by page-width (and often full page) black and white line drawings of most orchid species described. Most are also accompanied by one or more colour portrait photographs by Calil Neto. Fifteen selected species are illustrated with reproductions of water colour plates by Paulo Ormindo. The work includes a useful glossary of terms and a biographies of field botanists, herbarium taxonomists and orchidologists. In the second part (the English translation - c. 80 pp.) by Nicholas Hind, text is presented in a narrow three-column format, the majority of the descriptions accompanied by thumbnail colour photographs of the species.

This excellent, sumptuous production was sponsored by Grupo BBM (a Bahian commercial bank) and published by Editora Nova Fronteira of Rio de Janeiro. It is justifiably described by the President of Grupo BBM as a pioneer publication emerging to promote and stimulate botanical studies in the Chapada Diamantina.

Editora Nova Fronteira

ISBN 8520917828

Format: 23 x 32 cm, pp. 400, 'edição de luxo', with dust jacket over a cloth cover

R$215 (c. £55 at Feb. '06 exchange rate)