Photographer Richard Fischer has taken it upon himself over the past 15 years to bring endangered flowers into his photo studio and capture them in all their glory. There are striking images of flowers such as the fragrant orchid Stanhopea embreei, the clusterhead pink (Dianthus carthusianorum), Angraecum aloifolium, and many, many others.
The book is divided into three sections: Endangered Species, Floral Sculptures, and Dying Divas. There's an introductory essay about each theme that explains why it's so important.
For many of the photos, there are also brief essays, in English, German, and French, which celebrate the flowers. As the author says describing Papaver somniferum, "Light beards, thread suns, ball carriers -- botanical science provides us with poetic floral designations. 'Hieroglyphics of nature,' remarked a perplexed Goethe. And always the realization: creating beauty is not easy for humans -- for flowers it is."
In the introduction to the book, Dr. Thomas Holzmann, vice-president of the German Environment Agency, explains that Fischer has, for many years, been taking photos of rare specimens or plants that may become extinct -- flowers donated by numerous botanical gardens in Germany and elsewhere. As Holzman notes, Fischer is "putting these plants -- in the truest sense of living on borrowed time -- on center stage for perhaps the last time."
If you're enamored of flowers and their mesmerizing aspects, this is the book for you.