An exhaustive guide to identifying European orchids in which 487 reported species and a good number of varieties are described and illustrated. General information on the orchid anatomy and reproduction, as well as on their extraordinary strategies for attracting pollinating insects. Also includes the most up-to-date knowledge about orchid systematics. Entries with descriptive information are provided for each species and include information on the etymology of the scientific name and main synonyms, as well as the principal morphologic characteristics of each species, variability, habitats, distribution, abundance, pollinating insects and whether there exist any identification problems. Dichotomic keys to species identification that are useful for both professional botanists and amateur orchid enthusiasts and enable precise identification of the different species found in Europe. Information on the cases in which identification is more difficult, such as hybrids and aberrant forms, is also provided. 1075 photos and watercolours, black and white drawings and diagrams illustrating all of the species and depicting their main characteristics to assist with identification.