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Darwin's OrchidsThen and Now$
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Retha Edens-Meier and Peter Bernhardt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044910

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226173641.001.0001

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Darwin’s Orchids (1862, 1877):

Darwin’s Orchids (1862, 1877):

Origins, Development, and Impact

(p.3) One Darwin’s Orchids (1862, 1877)
Darwin's Orchids

Peter Bernhardt

Retha Edens-Meier

University of Chicago Press

The correspondence and publications of Charles Darwin are reviewed to determine why he became an authority on the adaptive structure of orchid flowers even before he published On The Origin of Species (1859). The combination of native, temperate species vs. the exotic species he collected is interpreted within the context of Victorian fads and within their literary context. The authors contrast the contents and impact of Darwin’s first edition (1862) vs. the second edition (1877) showing Darwin’s transition as a functional anatomist vs. his insight as a pollination ecologist. Orchids of interest examined by Darwin (1862, 1877) are also examined within the following nine chapters.

Keywords:   adaptive, Darwin, ecologist, exotic, first edition, second edition, Victorian

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