Next Meeting: Thursday, April 14th, 7:30pm
Contra Costa Water District Building Board Room
1331 Concord Ave. Concord, CA
The Mysterious Maxillarias presented by
is one of the most widespread and diverse orchid genera
of Tropical America. It
contains spectacular, large-flowered species, charming
miniatures, and many of intermediate size.
Plant habit is varied, with some species having
clustered, pseudobulbous growths similar to Oncidiums, some
with monopodial stems reminiscent of Vandas, and still others
with growths held on a rambling rhizome, like many of the
There are hot-growing species from the
tropical lowlands, cold growers from the high slopes of the
Andes, and many adaptable, intermediate growers from moderate
elevations in the mountains of Central and South America.
A few species, such as
the coconut-scented M. tenuifolia, have long been popular in
orchid collections. Many
other beautiful members of the genus have only become
available within the last decade or two, largely through
Central and South American vendors who bring plants for sale
to orchid shows in the U.S.
Fortunately, most of these recent introductions are now
being grown from seed and division, both domestically and by
nurseries in Tropical America, enabling hobbyists to acquire
plants without fear of decimating wild populations.
Despite the increasing
popularity of the Maxillarias, taxonomy of the genus remains
poorly understood. The
situation is complicated by the large number of species
recently introduced to cultivation and the absence of a
modern, comprehensive taxonomic treatment, leaving many of us
wondering how to label our plants.
Perhaps identity of the species will become clearer in
time, but meanwhile, the mysterious Maxillarias can add a
touch of the unknown to our lives!
presentation will illustrate some of the diverse forms of this
fascinating genus in the context of the regions where they
occur, and provide cultural information based on one grower's
started growing orchids in 1982. His first successful subject
was a Dendrobium hybrid
bought as a tiny seedling at a lei stand in the Honolulu
Airport. When that plant finally grew up and bloomed a few
years later, he was hooked! By 1996 he had 350
orchids in a one-bedroom apartment. That year he moved
his plants into a rented commercial greenhouse
in San Francisco. He took over the large species
collection of his friend and "orchid mentor", Walter
Teague, and his hobby evolved into his nursery, Hanging
Gardens. Dan started growing orchids
full-time in 2000, and moved to a larger greenhouse in
Pacifica a few years later. He currently has
12,000 to 15,000 plants, mostly cool to intermediate
growers (it's hard to maintain warm conditions in Pacifica!). This number includes a few hybrids, but the great majority
are species. He
also grows a variety of "companion plants", that
share the natural habitats of orchids.
the San Francisco Orchid Society in 1987, and served as its
president in 1996/97. In
recent years, he has spoken on a variety of topics for the
Diablo View Orchid Society and other horticultural groups in
California and elsewhere.
will be provided by Dan Newman.
There will be NO Speaker's
Dinner this month.
Owner Ken Cook
Owner Melissa Sadler
Paph.Snowbird 'Opalescence' AM/AOS
Owner Dian Vavrek