The history of orchids teems with tales of temptation and passion. This edition by Stichting Kunstboek combines the most luscious and tactile photographs with surprising and informative texts on all kinds of orchids. The first part of the book tells the tale about the discovery of orchids through history and describes the way in which orchids are perceived by people. In the East the emphasis mainly lies on positive characteristics, grace and generosity. In the West orchids personify procreation and sex, and in certain periods of time they were associated with negative characteristics. The build and structure of orchid flowers are put in a functional context, in other words why are orchids the way they are? Why those amazingly complicated shapes? Why those incredible colours? In this publication, author Anne Ronse discusses everything orchids have stood for in the course of history. Their seductive powers do not only lure pollinators. Also writers, scientists and adventurers have never been able to resist the seduction of this fascinating flower.