April 1998

WOW!!! February 28th and March 1st Mini Show -
by Harry, Editor,

I’m impressed! I think 50 persons showed up with or sent plants in to put on display, and many of them stayed and helped with the setup and take down of the mini show held in Balboa Park. Lots brought plants for our society to sell, from gorgeous big Cymbidium plants donated by Jerry Spencer to elegantly mounted staghorn ferns donated by Mary and Bob Fuson, visitors got some real bargains this show.

The show itself was a beautiful thing to see. I haven’t seen that many plants on display since I started helping at these mini shows. The visitors wandering through Balboa Park that followed our signs were absolutely amazed. Mouths wide open, tongues hangin’ out,,, it was great! Not only did we sign up new members, we passed out about 3000 discount tickets for our big show. So outside of all that, how was the parade??? The plant sales booth took in approx $1200.00 for the society general fund, the tee shirts and poster group took in approx $1200.00 for the society and the corsage group who worked their fingers into knots took in about $200.00 for us. In all, Two Thousand Six Hundred Dollars was made for future society use. We use this money for everything from free plants for members to experiment with, to the AOS booklets we just purchased for anyone who wanted them, to the doughnuts and drinks for every first Tuesday meeting night.

Bud & Joan Close, Alma Marosz, Forrest Robinson, Edith & Leno Galvan, Valli Ree, Marge Anderson, Patricia & Harry Tolen, Tom Biggart, Dick & Jackie Bechtel, Dan & Sophie Shannon, Sue & Charlie Fouquette, Martha Green, Jack Donia, Penelope Smith, Duncan Werth, Jim Wright, Peggy & Bob Swanson, Suzie & Ben Machado, Bob Hodges, Mary & Bob Fuson, Alicia Bashette, John Vugrin, Phil Green, Carolyn Hippaka, Jerry Spencer, Tom Huse, Francis Wilkes, Irma Adams,Pam Peters, Genie Hammond, George Kenner, Dave Reid, John Walters, George Tubon, Terry Menifee, Lee Kenaston, Barbara Pruyne, Donna Sass, Floy Hyde, Jim Reid, David Baume, Nati Ritua.

In addition to all that, there were six businesses that made their own displays, complete with a nice assortment of plants, business placard, and cards or handouts. Close Orchids, Loma Crest Orchids, Rex Foster Orchids, Parkview Orchids, Dave Reid’s Orchids, Chula Orchids, and Kenner and Sons, all had fine displays. The area for those was from center stage at the front of the room all the way around to the right where Vivian usually sits with the membership booth.

Sue & Charlie Fouquette took the Best of Show with a fabulous striped Phal., and they showed several others that were darn near that good. Jack Donia had a Coelogyne cristata with about 500 flowers on it, and two excellent very well grown specimens of Dendrochillum were on exhibit, one from Susy and Ben Machado and one from Genie Hammond of Parkview Orchids. John & George from Rex Foster Orchids loaned us a huge basket of orchids, must have been 25 plants nestled in about a three foot diameter basket. Jerry Spencer showed some very good quality cymbidiums as well as some fine ones on display from J.J. Wright. J.J. also had two very well grown Oestradella’s on display, one making it’s way to Best of Section. Pen Smith had a dozen nice plants, with a giant Oncidium maculatum making it’s way to the Best of Section table. Jack Donia’s giant Zygopetalum B.G White ‘‘Stonehurst’ was a constant topic of discussion. With nine or ten spikes the fragrance at that portion of the room was overwhelming. Bob & Peggy Swanson showed several great Phals and Sophie and Dan Shannon showed a terrific Orchid World type Phal called P. Banana something. There were so many great plants it’s hard to remember, but John Vugrin had a giant pink Cattleya hybrid on the Best of Section table, Tom Biggart had an overachieving Schomburgkia with a spike that had to be twelve feet high.

It’s not just the show part that is important to me. I enjoy meeting with the membership, and visitors to the park. I met a couple of our members that I had never spoken to much, didn’t know their names, and now know them pretty well.

Pen Smith I have seen at meetings but never got to know her, didn’t even really know her name. I was helping her bring her plants in from the car. I told her I needed to put her name on them, and to make her think I knew her name but didn’t know how to spell it, I said, “How do you spell your last name??” “S-M-I-T-H” Pen says! “Oooooh!” says I, “No y’s or e’s??” ( I think she found me out!) I don’t think I will ever forget her name now!

And another big dude I found wandering around was Duncan Werth. Duncan drives one of those huge busses around the Zoo everyday, and so does his wife! (Webmaster's note: my wife Su left the Zoo in '95, I don't think I told you that, Harry :) Duncan is now helping out with the societies web page, and will have most of this mini show information and lots of pictures posted on the Society Web Site. If you are computer oriented here’s the site address,

Drop by and visit the site, then let Duncan know with the email box how you liked it, and anything else you might like to see there. Duncan has some great stories about Zoo life.

Thanks to everyone who participated, I knew we could do a good one if we really wanted to! There were several relatively new members, like Mary & Bob Fuson who spent many hours there talking to folks about orchids. They brought some fine looking Epi kiki’s and beautiful staghorn ferns that were sold. I have known Bob for probably 60 years or so, good to see him relax a bit!! It was really a fantastic mini show and experience, and here’s more good news. The Park Department has reshuffled dates, and we have the third weekend in July back again. Bob Hodges made a personal appearance with the scheduler and got our date back. So let’s remember this fine show, and see if we can do it again on July 17th, 18th and 19th. I’ll probably remind you again! :>)

After that one the next will be October 16th, 17th and 18th according to Bob. Are you ready????

New Advertiser -

Joining us for the rest of the year is Sunset Valley Orchids in Vista, CA., Fred Clarke owner. Fred has been hybridizing orchids for quite a few years. His seedlings have paid off and are now slowly cutting him out of house and home. I hope some of you can get over there to see what Fred has. The stock he describes sounds pretty good and the prices are right too.. Check out his Phal special this month, in bloom for $10,,, wow!

This is an addendum to what I wrote above which was about two weeks ago from what I’m writing now. This is the Monday after our big show. Some of you will know already that Fred won “Best of Show” with his Laelia harpophylla. A huge plant with hundreds of bulbs and spikes was just unbelievable. I’ll bet they don’t grow them that big in Brazil.

Fred says he bought that plant from me about seventeen years ago. It was an import from Brazil, just a small piece. He seems to remember making the plant branch more by partially cutting in strategic areas several years ago. This works on plants that are growing great on the front, but the back bulbs are just sitting there doing nothing. Partially severing the plant in several places will convince the back bulbs there is a reason to generate new growth from the old back bulbs as well as the fresh new lead bulbs. Here is perfect evidence of what you can help happen doing that.

The page 9 picture will give you an idea of what it looked like at the show, but it is 1/100th the impact seeing it here in black and white after seeing it at the show. It’s really spectacular. Any of you who are looking at our web site will find it there soon, and in full color.

Can’t Believe I Did That!
by Harry, Ed.

Wow! I got to read my “Orchids” magazine closer. I skimmed the articles for the February issue, George Kenner told me he had an article being printed in Feb and I found it. Just re-reading the Feb issue I find Chris Herndon, our 2nd VP had his Third article published in the same issue and I did not notice. Sorry Chris, quite an achievement to have three in there so far, and more to come no doubt. So here we have one issue of the American Orchid Society “Orchids” with two articles printed in the same issue by members of our society. That’s got to be a one in a million. Congratulations guys!!!

Zoo Open House Days - April

Here is an excellent chance for you to get caught up on what has been done at the zoo orchid houses.

First, the Orchid Houses will be open Friday and Sunday, 10 to 2 the first four weekends of April. You can visit anytime during this period. You need a zoo pass or you will have to purchase a day’s ticket.

Second, they need volunteers to help with this influx of people. They would like to have persons from our society to help guide the visitors in and out, and make sure any of the collection doesn’t leave with them!! Contact Fred Weber if you can spend any time on those days hosting the event. Fred will schedule all our volunteers. You don’t need a ticket to volunteer!

OK! Back To The Show -

If you weren’t there to see, it was one of the best ever. over 5,000 visitors passed thru the front door, and not a discouraging word was heard from any of them. On the contrary, many thought it was better than some they had recently been to, or had been to last year.

Many volunteers made this show go smoothly. There were only a few no shows, and fortunately there were just enough persons around to fill the gaps for all the volunteer positions. My mouth was really watering looking at all the tremendous plants on display. Peter Tobias’s Dendrobium speciosum ‘Hillii’ was absolutely astounding.

To start with, Peter and his crew pulled up with a U-Haul early Thursday morning. A ramp was constructed to allow the huge plant to slide down so it could be taken into the show room. Nine guys gathered around and pushed, pulled and kept the flowers from dragging on both sides of the U-Haul as it slide down the ramp.

After getting it successfully on the ground, all nine gathered around and moved the plant thru the large double doors into the main display room. Persons watching had to walk along both sides to pull the sprays of flowers in as it passed thru the double doors. It was hitting on both sides!! Gradually the group guided the plant to it’s display area and got it in position, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief,,, until the show was over.

How big was it?? Well, the official non contested estimate, was that it carried 210 spikes of over 30,000 blossoms. Not bad eh? A couple of years ago Peter had it in bloom then also and he displayed it on a rotating base with spot lights to light it up. That was kind of over kill I guess, because this beauty takes your breath away the longer you stand and it’s size and beauty soak in. This plant has won; In 1996: CCM with 95 points and the Wally and Geo. Bliss Memorial trophy for Best of Species In 1998: CCM with 98 points, the Wally and Geo. Bliss Mem. Trophy for Best of Species and the Melrose Geer Memorial Trophy for Best Specimen Plant. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem like enough!!!

Casa del Prado - Balboa Park - Room 104
by Chris Herndon, 2nd VP

Dave Reid, veteran grower and owner of Reid’s Orchids, gave an insightful talk on growing Cattleyas for the March Novice Class. Cattleyas, the “classic” orchids, are not only incredibly showy orchids but also are easy and rewarding subjects for the novice grower to cultivate. Dave went over the basics, light, temperature, watering, fertilizing, potting etc., and how to successfully flower these plants. The demonstrations he performed proved especially helpful. Thanks Dave, for your informative and enjoyable presentation.

April’s Novice Class promises a talk on Miltonias by Forrest Robinson. Miltonias which make spectacular, albeit challenging subjects for the novice grower, are called the “Pansy Orchids” for their large, beautifully flattened flowers. Forrest, who often displays his beautifully grown Miltonia hybrids at General Meetings, will explain their cultural requirement and show us how to properly grow them. Bring any questions you might have with you. I hope to see you all at 6:30 P.M. in Room 104 to hear Forrest Robinson’s talk which is sure to be interesting and invaluable.

Orchids From Flask
by Linda Blessing, Oceanside Orchids

We use quart mason jars instead of flasks. They are cheaper and easier to work with. You can get them at garage sales or Kobey’s swap meet in the garage sale section. Always use new mason tops. Cook flasks in a pressure cooker at 15 pounds pressure for 15 minutes. (Our pressure cookers are also garage sale acquisitions, who cans today??) Let them slowly cool. It’s best to store cooked jars for a week in case any contaminate.

We use a commercial laminar flow hood. With any type hood always make sure the outer filters are checked and cleaned frequently. Once in the hood, replate about 35 plants per jar. We use Baggies brand sandwich bags to cover the tops. Spray the surface of the baggie facing the jar with a 10% bleach and water solution, then screw down the jar ring. Throw away the seal cap, this way the seedlings can breath right through the plastic without contamination.

We store our jars in the lab or room at 65 or 70 degrees F, don’t let the temperature vary more than 10 degrees one way or the other. We use shop lights with cool white fluorescents to provide maximum light for growth.

If you have already lost interest, and would rather have someone else do the boring work, this chart will help you to ripen your seed capsules properly.

Seed Harvesting Schedule

Brassocattleya 4 to 6 months
Brassolaeliocattleya 4 to 6 months
Cattleya 4 to 5 months
Cymbidium 9 to 12 months
Dendrobium 4 to 6 months
Epidendrum 3 to 4 months
Laelia 3 to 4 months
Laeliocattleya 4 to 6 months
Miltonia 4 to 5 months
Oncidium 4 to 8 months
Paphiopedilum 8 to 10 months
Phalaenopsis 4 to 5 months
Vanda 5 to 7 months

Note that not every pollen is compatible with every flower, so a seed capsule may turn yellow and fall off after a few months. Also due to genetics, not all full term pods have viable seed. Seed may look good but will not germinate when they are sown. Crosses with P. violacea should be left on 6 to 8 months, the longer the better. I have a habit of looking at the date and feeling the pod. If it’s hard, leave it on longer.

Linda Blessing is the owner of Oceanside Orchids and you may contact her for more talk on this subject. See her ad on page 14.

For our computer buffs, Loren Batchman of Casa de las Orquideas submitted a long string of these and I picked out three to pass on to you.

1. There's no place like -

2. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Net and he won't bother you for weeks.-

3. Home is where you hang your @

From Cindy Hill,
Display Coordinator For The Past Show.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who brought in their blooming plants and/or donated their time to create our Society's Jungle Gems Mine exhibit this year. It was a rousing success! We received many compliments from visitors, and a number commented that this was the most beautiful selection of orchids in the society's display that they could recall.

The judges liked it, too. The Society's display received the 'Balboa Trophy' for Best Amateur Massed Display, the 'Director's Trophy' for Best Orchid Society Display, and The Orchid Digest Corporation's Show Trophy.

It was a lot of hard work, and even more fun. A great way to meet other members and make some new friends while knee-deep in orchids. Who could ask for more?

So thanks again to all of you who played a part. It would not have been nearly as much fun without you. And remember, it's not too early to start getting your orchids ready for next year's display! In alphabetical order the names of those who volunteered time &/or plants:

Irma Adams
Loren Batchman
Dick and Jacqueline Bechtel
Tom Biggart
Bud and Joan Close
Susan Coyne
Jack Donia
Dorothy and Al Frost
George Hauks
Cindy Hill
Bob Hodges
Lisa Humphreys
Ron Kaufmann
Rebecca Lawrence
Anna Majevskis
Tom Osborn
Sima Perkins
Pam Peters
Jerry Spencer
Peter Tobias
Harry and Pat Tolen
Ann and Paul Tuskes
Don Van Kekerix
John Vugrin
Fred Weber
Jim Wright

SDCOS Board of Directors Meeting
March 10, 1998

Present: Fred Weber, Leno Galvan, Edith Galvan, Christopher Herndon,
Ben Machado, Esther Sivila, Alma Marosz, Bud Close, Ann Tuskes,
Paul Tuskes, Bob Hodges and Siv Garrod.

Meeting called to order by Fred Weber at 7:05 P.M.


1. Last meetings minutes were read and approved.

2. Treasurer report was read, accepted and filed for audit.

3. First Vice President - Hendrik Van Der Hoven will be next months speaker. Mr. Van Der Hoven and Dr. Harold Koopowitz will provide the plant table.

4. Second Vice President - Forrest Robinson will talk about Miltonia culture at the novice class.

5. Show Chairman - Everything is ready for the show. Bud Close would also like to know if anyone finds any advertisement/articles about our show outside the San Diego area.


1. The date for the bus trip to Zuma Canyon is May 2nd if transportation can be arranged. Cost, including lunch and a free seedling will be around $35.00


1. Paul Tuskes had volunteered to look into prices of projectors and he presented his report. If the projector that was donated by Byron Geer can not be adapted to auto focusing we will purchase one that can.

2. Fred Weber suggested that the society also purchases a projector stand that folds flat and can be stored in our lockers. Ann Tuskes made the motion to buy the stand, Bud Close seconded and the motion passed .

3. Alma Marosz brought the rules of the San Diego Botanical Foundation for Societies like ours that use the park facilities for free. By not adhering to the rules a society can lose the right to use the park facilities. The rules that applied to sales were such that a private individual or business can not benefit from sales during our meetings. If a society has more than 3 sales per year sales tax is applied and a sales permit is needed, SDCOS has a resale license. Plant sales between members are not subjected to sales tax. Donated plants for the society to sell for the benefit of SDCOS will be allowed at our meetings.

The meeting was adjourned 8:15 P.M.
Submitted by Siv Garrod

By Ben Machado, 1st VP

Marguerite Webb of J&L Orchids was our guest speaker for the March General Meeting providing a presentation titled “Miniature Orchids”. She’s from Easton Connecticut about 45 minutes north of New York City where wide open space comes at a premium. How to maximize the use of limited space and still provide a touch of nature is the challenge met by the use of miniature orchids. For us Southern Californians this is a bit of an insight since most of us probably don’t give too much consideration to a need to maximize limited space. Marguerite and her partners Lucinda Winn and Cordelia Head have been meeting the limited space needs of orchid aficionados throughout the Northeastern corridor with their miniatures. They have been operating J&L for the past 17 years with a wide lineage of species orchids, specializing in miniatures to the point they have become something of the authority in miniature orchids. They now reach far beyond the Eastern United States lecturing and selling throughout the United States, Australia and the far East.

Whether it was because of the good weather or a result of reading the newsletter is a little bit of a mystery but there sure was a good membership turnout for her presentation. There must have been in excess of 250 members at the meeting. Maybe there’s more of a local interest in miniatures than most people realize.

Marguerite said that by her own observation general interest in miniatures has grown. She recalls how 20 years ago she attended the world renowned San Diego County Orchid Society Orchid Show where one of the displays was a table top exhibit of miniatures. At that time it was very unusual for a show to include a miniature exhibit, now almost every show seems to have miniatures on display. Which is as it should be since it is estimated that miniatures comprise 1/2 to 2/3 of the orchids throughout the world.

Her presentation centered on the fact that every bit of the structure, fragrance and beauty of orchids is present in the world of miniature orchids it’s just on a much smaller scale. She walked us through a slide presentation that started within the Cattleya alliance such as the Laelia pumila from Brazil, Sophronitis coccinea also from Brazil with the characteristic scarlet red and highly desirable for hybridization. Sophronitis coccinea was noted as a cooler growing orchid whereas Sophronitis cernua is from a more intermediate climate. Leptotes bicolor is also from Brazil as well as Paraguay and Argentina and is from a very small group of only four species within this genera. Encyclia vitellina is from the higher elevations of Mexico and Guatemala requiring cooler growing conditions. Each of these orchids is under three inches in height with a bloom size of 1-1/2 to 3 inches!

From the Oncidium alliance are many very small showy orchids such Onc. macranthum, triquetrum and the Equitant Oncidium pulchellum.

The presentation went on to describe some of the true miniatures of Pleurothallis species. Some of the slides were very striking with their rich color. What a shock when you find out the whole plant is less than one inch high! This is a whole lot more than just the magic of photography because all the vividness and form is there, just on a smaller scale. Marguerite went on to include descriptions of Masdevallia, Dracula and the very interesting Porrglossom that triggers the lip to shoot the pollinia to the column. She also reminded everyone that Neofinetia falcata is not only very attractive but also very fragrant. They have the appearance of Vanda’s but need intermediate growing conditions and do not like to be completely dried out between waterings.

Marguerite also provided the plants for our Plant Opportunity Table. Of course the table was a mix of miniatures. Our members were also afforded the opportunity to buy some of her better miniatures to add to their personal collections. The items she provided for the Silent Auction were very well received, the Pleurothallis imperialis finally went to Tom Biggart. This orchid is very interesting since it puts out a large blossom on top of a large heart shaped leaf. Again, after much bidding activity Cora Ramborger was the high bidder for the flask of Masdevallia uniflora.

Show & Tell -

The presentations at the last two meeting have taken longer than the allotted time. So in order to make the 10 PM exit time the Plant Forum has been passed over. Not to say that “Show and Tell” isn’t important, the speaker presentations were just too good to cut short. Here’s a very short rundown of those who participated in the “Show and Tell”: Anna Majeskis brought in an Encyclia; Ray Brandt had several plants including a favorite, Slc. Orglades Early Harvest ‘Magic’ HCC/AOS; John Vugrin showed off one of his very fragrant Dendrobium kingianum; Don Van Kekerix included a Dendrochillum ecollosum; Pam Peters also showed her Slc Orglades Early Harvest ‘Magic’ HCC/AOS; one of Tom Biggart’s orchids was a miniature Epidendrum garceanum from Venezuela; June Chocheles brought a Dendrobium Banyad Pink #2; Dick Shock had Dendrobium ‘Berry’; amongst the Forrest Robinson display was a Pot. Free Spirit; Irma Adams is doing a fine job growing her Brassavola glauca; Siv Garrod had Oncidium Alissa Morton ‘Red Valley’ and Dave Reid put out several plants including Slc. Tangerine Jewel x Bc. Beaufort.

April 7, 1998 - 7:30 PM - Casa Del Prado - Room 101
By Ben Machado, 1st VP

We’ve gone international again with this month’s guest speaker coming from South Africa. Hendrik van der Hoven will be on a speaking tour in the United States and will be at our meeting to provide a presentation titled “Hunting in South Africa”. Of course the hunting will be along the lines of orchid hunting. The material will include visits to a variety of natural areas of Africa both in the summer and winter rainfall regions to see what orchids can be found. Hendrik wants to use two projectors for his presentation, which should make this a very interesting presentation approach. This will make the donated projector from Byron Geer very timely indeed. Your Board of Directors was in the process of shopping for a replacement projector when Byron offered to donate a new unit he never got around to using. We all need to say “Thank You Byron”.

Hendrik was a bit sketchy with information about himself, but we can be assured he will have an interesting presentation. He is very highly regarded and endorsed by Harold Koopowitz. Here’s what Hendrik had to say about himself: “Married with two children, Landscape Architect by profession, accredited South African Orchid Council Judge (wife also), grows mostly spp (African spp, Paphs, starting also on Dend and Masd) - got first orchid at the age of about 12, other activities - keen gardener and marathon runner”.

Hendrik will also provide the plants for our Plant Opportunity table. He will have some South African species, most in bloom, and Paph seedlings from Japanese breeding for red complex hybrids. Because he has so many other societies included on his tour, the plants he is providing will be a combination of plants provided between himself and Harold Koopowitz. This is should be considered a bonus since Harold is very well known for the quality of his Paphs.

Hendrik has also agreed to donate some of his better lineage to the Society to sell for the benefit of SDCOS! Everyone will have the opportunity to buy some of his stock before the General Meeting between 7 and & 7:30. A couple of Society volunteers are need to help during the sale, if you’re willing to help please contact Fred Weber or Ben Machado. In one of his past E-mails Hendrik said he has flasks of mini Disa’s and yellow Disa uniflora available and will bring them along upon request. He didn’t give a price, but said he did not have enough the last time he was in the San Francisco area. If you’re interested give him an email jingle at

by Ben Machado, 1st VP

We're going to do it! We're making arrangements to take a bus trip to Zuma Canyon Orchids on May 2nd. The price will be $35 per person and will include a guided tour program, a barbecue lunch including refreshments at Zuma Canyon, 20% off all plants for the society and a plant raffle during the trip home.

This will be an all day event. The exact details regarding departure, pick up location and return time will be provided in a flyer to be passed out at the next meeting. As of today one bus for 40 people is planned, we would like to get firm commitments as soon as possible to confirm the charter. Contact Fred Weber, 982-9128, or Ben Machado, 660-9870.

PreRelease -
From Charles and Margaret Baker, Portland, OR

The book we are currently working on is on Paphs, Taxonomy by Guido Braem, in fact, he took an interesting new approach in this book, and I think that growers will like it. He reviews each section, states what he feels are valid species and what others consider valid species, and then includes other entities that may or may not prove to be valid species. He points out that different people have different views and different needs leaves it up to the individual to decide if he wants that plant as a species. It will be full of superb color pictures and have some diagnostic diagrams. The book is (keep your fingers crossed) being published by a group of interested investors in Florida.