2019 SAOS Newsletters
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December - Christmas Auction
Auctioneer Courtney Hackney
Our annual Christmas auction was a great opportunity to eat, drink and be merry with our orchid friends, and we had a very lively group of bidders!
The incomparable Courtney Hackney talked about Orchid Triage, what to do if you discover your favorite orchid is dying. He showed examples of orchids that just needed to be repotted or treated for a pest infestation, and then orchids that require radical surgery to survive. For those, orchid triage involves removing all the roots, a soak in systemic fungicide, a root stimulant spray and then a dry period while you wait for new roots to emerge. For those one of a kind orchids, it's worth the wait.
Thanh discussed a dozen different orchid species that can be easily grown in Florida. His talk included a variety of different species, from miniatures to large growing plants with almost insignificant to large fluffy flowers.
Meeting with Francisco Miranda Cancelled
Our September guest was Hurricane Dorian, who gave his presentation on
anxiety for orchids and the 'Orchid Dance'.
No one really enjoyed the presentation but we did persevere, and hopefully next month will be better.
Some members sent in pics of the plants they intended to bring to the
meeting as well as some of their 'Orchid Dance Moves', and we included plenty of information about what to do before and after a tropical storm.
Jim talked about how orchid hybrids are made and what the hybridizer must consider before making a cross. He showed us how orchids are pollinated, how the seed is flasked under sterile conditions and then the plantlets removed from the flask when they are large enough to survive on their own. His talk included a demonstration of deflasking orchids with compots and plug trays entrusted with a few members to grow up to be shared with other club members.
Guest speaker Andy Easton reflects on influential and colorful characters from the world of orchids.
He waxed poetic about some, like Rebecca Tyson Northen and Ernest Hetherington. Others, well, not so much! One thing for certain, Andy knows where all the bodies are buried!
June - Novelty Brassavola/Cattleya Breeding-Spiders & Stars
Allen Black, Allen Black Orchids
Our featured speaker, Allen Black, wowed the crowd with his 'Spiders and Stars' talk on novelty Brassavola/Cattleya alliance breeding. Allen is a hobbyist orchid grower and breeder who specializes in unusual Brassavola hybrids, often combining nodosa and cucullata with other Cattleya alliance species and hybrids. Beautiful flowers and engaging presentation!
May - Laelia purpurata and Its Hybrids
Vern Bloch, prior owner of Palm Bay Orchid Range
Vern talked about Laelia purpurata, one of the finest of all cultivated orchids. In addition to its large showy flowers, it has one of the widest ranges of color forms. There are probably more named cultivars of L. purpurata than any other Laelia or Cattleya species. This species is used extensively in hybridizing and Vern has amassed a nice collection of the species and hybrids.
Courtney talked about quantifying orchid beauty and the process of judging orchids. .
What is the definition of beauty? In the world of orchids, it falls between natural form vs idealized form. The Royal Horticultural Society acknowledges natural form. The American Orchid Society developed standards that focused on idealized cut flowers which valued round and flat flowers. He then demonstrated how the judging process works.
March - Tolumnias, the Equitant Oncidiums
Daryl Venables, Tezula Plants
Daryl talked about the key to growing Tolumnias, understanding their natural habitat, growing on twigs where they are exposed to bright light and air movement. Moisture is provided by high humidity and by daily rain showers or heavy dews. Due to constant air movement by the trade winds, plants never remain wet for long.
Gene talked about the Cattleyas of the Andes, taking us on a tour from north to south showing the species and their color forms, giving us tips about their culture and value in hybridizing. A program by a master of hybridizing with cattleyas and other genera.
Dave talked about different methods and reasoning in building your cattleya collection, with interesting stories about the beautiful orchids in his family's heirloom collection.