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The Orchid Album, written by Robert Warner and illustrated by John Nugent Fitch, set the standard for orchid description and illustration in the nineteenth century. Containing more than 500 stunning chromolithographic plates in 11 volumes, this work captured orchid varieties in their wild states before hybridization. The exhibition is on display in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lenhardt Library through May 9, 2010.

Donna LaPietra, one of the co-producers of the 2010 Antiques & Garden Fair, tells us about plans for the Fair on April 16-18, 2010. She talked to Alessandra Branca, honorary co-chair of the Fair and Preview, about what she’s bringing to the show, her new book and her lecture on Friday, April 16.

In the Harry Potter books and movies, Harry attends a class on herbology taught by Professor Sprout. Ed Valauskas uses the Garden’s rare book collection to teach a similar class on how people’s notions of plants changed during the Renaissance. Learn about the legend of the vegetable lamb of tartar and so much more! Ed teaches this class again at 10 a.m. on July 10, 2010. Visit register.chicagobotanic.org to register.

The Lenhardt Library’s rare book collection is available by appointment. Visit www.chicagobotanic.org/library for more information.