The first field guide to the orchids of Costa Rica and Panama, this book is lavishly illustrated with 240 stunning color photographs and 229 line drawings. It contains keys to all the orchid genera in the region and most of the orchid species. To enable nonbotanists to identify at least the genus of orchids, Robert L. Dressler emphasizes features that can be readily seen with the naked eye or a hand lens.Written in a friendly and accessible style, this guide begins with succinct descriptions of the geography, climate, and vegetation of Costa Rica and Panama, and includes appropriate comments on the peoples and cultures of the area. A discussion of orchid structure and ecology follows. The identification keys are preceded by instructions for use, and a general key directs the user to the appropriate chapter, where condensed descriptions and additional keys narrow the choices for the plants identity. Dressler avoids complex terminology and supplies a glossary of technical terms that will he helpful to those unfamiliar with botanical vocabulary. A short appendix describes how to prepare orchids for study, and summarizes laws that affect plant collectors, and another lists the authors of species names used in the guide.Reflecting the autor's deep and broad knowledge of the orchids of tropical Latin America, this field guide is certain to prove valuable to botanists, field biologists, orchid hobbyists, and tourists interested in natural history.Robert L. Dressler, a highly respected orchid specialist, is Adjunct Curator of Vascular Plants as the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida.