DVOS Meeting

Mary Gerritsen , Ph.D. currently works as an independent biotechnology consultant, her “retirement” after a long career in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. However, much of her free time now involves orchids in some fashion or another.

Mary has a large collection of miniature orchids, as well as numerous pleurothallids, paphiopedilum, bulbophyllum, and dendrobium species which she grows outside, in a cool greenhouse or in an intermediate greenhouse . In addition to growing orchids, Mary likes to see and photograph them in their native habitats, and this has led to expeditions to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asia, China, various Mediterranean islands, Europe, Madagascar, South Africa, Mexico and other parts of Central America, many countries in South America, as well as various parts of the USA and Canada.

In addition to her interest in orchids and their habitats, Mary has written, with co-author and photographer, Ron Parsons, a number of books on orchids including Masdevallias: Gems of the Orchid World; A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species; A Bay Area Guide to Orchids and Their Culture; and The American Orchid Society Guide to Orchids and their Culture. Mary and Ron also coauthored a book on a genus of North American wildflowers: Calochortus; Mariposa Lilies and their Relatives. Mary is the chief financial officer of the Orchid Conservation Alliance, serves on the board of directors of Orchid Digest, and is a past president of the San Francisco and the Peninsula Orchid Societies.

Along with Ron Parsons our speaker has written a book for the American Orchid Society, The American Orchid Society Guide to Orchids and their Culture, that every orchid enthusiast should own. It has just been published and some copies are on their way to California. They may not be here in time for Mary’s talk but she is willing to take checks for $25 and this will cover postage and also benefit the Orchid Conservation Alliance. So either bring your check book or cash along with your name and address to have it mailed to you.

The Plant Table will be supplied by our speaker

Dinner with the Speaker at 5:30 p.m. is at Aung MayLika 1050 Contra Costa Blvd, Concord, CA 94423

Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speaker – email Eileen Jackson at eileen.jackson@att.com to reserve a seat.

 “When I was just a little boy, 7 or 8 years old, my father and I were suddenly hooked on orchids. At a home
and garden show we saw a Catasetum pileatum and were shocked by its beauty. When we asked people where to buy that plant, we were pointed to the orchid booth of one of the most important and respected orchid growers in Brazil’s orchid history – Mr. Heitor Gloeden. Soon after that initial contact, he took us under his wing and taught us about orchids.
As a native of São Paulo, I quickly learned about many orchid species. Those that I was first in touch with are still my favorites: Cattleya, Laelia, Sophronitis, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum and Vanda. I love all orchids, but these are the ones that have continued to populate my daydreams, even when I was working on the options trading floor at the Pacific Stock Exchange!

My father and I learned about orchids together, so orchid growing became a partnership with him. Today my dad is 88 years old, and we still spend hours discussing possible crossings, preferred cultivars and plants that we still “need” to add to our respective collections. Still living in Brazil, he cultivates beautiful orchids there, while I pursue my hobby here in Northern California. I love it here. I immigrated in 1989 to Ohio. After college, I moved to California where I put down roots, made friends, and began cultivating orchids.”

The Plant Table will be supplied by Sergio Garcia

Dinner with the Speaker at 5:30 p.m. is at Aung MayLika 1050 Contra Costa Blvd, Concord, CA 94423

Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speaker – email Eileen Jackson at eileen.jackson@att.com to reserve a seat.

Learn the basics about how to take care of your orchids!

Dennis was born on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. As a lad he helped his mom grow her orchids and got hooked. He joined the Future Farmers of America and his project was raising and selling orchids.
In 1980 he moved to the mainland and swore off the orchid family; not for long, as he was introduced to Rod McLellan’s ‘Acres of Orchids’. First, he filled his home with upwards of 6,000 plants. Later he leased greenhouse space for his collection. A glutton for punishment, he continued to add to his collection, overflowing the 3,000 sq. ft. greenhouse in Half Moon Bay. Currently his greenhouse (D&D Flowers) is in Daly City.

Dennis has been president of Peninsula Orchid Society, San Francisco Orchid Society, Diablo View Orchid Society and the Santa Cruz Orchid Society. He is an accredited judge of the American Orchid Society. Dennis belongs to over 14 orchid societies and tries to assist them whenever possible.

The Plant Table will be supplied by Dennis Olivas

Dinner with the Speaker at 5:30 p.m. is at Aung MayLika 1050 Contra Costa Blvd, Concord, CA 94423

Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speaker – email Eileen Jackson before Jan 10th at eileen.jackson@att.com to reserve a seat.

Pepe Portilla is the founder and president of Ecuagenera Orchids in Ecuador, which has grown into one of the largest orchid nurseries in South America. Ecuagenera specializes both in species for the collector and hybrids for the pot plant markets. Pepe is not only an excellent businessman but he also has a deep love and understanding of his country’s orchids. He has traveled widely to observe the native orchids and is also committed to both in situ and ex situ conservation of the country’s orchid wealth. He will speak about “The Orchids of Ecuador”.






The Plant Table will be supplied by Pepe Portilla

Dinner with the Speaker at 5:30 p.m. is at Aung MayLika 1050 Contra Costa Blvd, Concord, CA 94423

Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speaker – email Eileen Jackson before Jan 10th at eileen.jackson@att.com to reserve a seat.

Note Change in VENUE AND TIME for the December Meeting

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Pleasant Hill Community Center, 3320 Civic Drive, Large Room

Gift Exchange and Small Auction

Setup at 6:00 pm with Dinner beginning at 7:00 pm

Turkey and ham will be provided by the Board … the rest … by you, our members! We have a liquor license, so you can BYOB!

For the potluck, bring a side dish, salad or desert … enough for 8 … according to the beginning letter of your last name…

A-H Desert, I-O Salad, P-Z Side Dish

For the Gift Exchange bring a nice plant (bug free) or an orchid related item (a pot, gardening tool etc … something that you would like to receive yourself).

There will also be a small auction for some very special items!

Note: This is a members only event… spouses/partners are welcome, too.

The 2019 dues should be paid by the January meeting, but feel free to pay at the party! ($30)

Holiday Party Bonus: The first 30 people who have paid dues for 2019 will receive a free plant. Please bring the completed form with your check. Renewal Form


“I was born August 2, 1946 in the city of Berkeley, California and have remained a resident ever since. I met my partner, John Leathers in 1975 and we began growing orchids after we purchased a home with a built on solarium. In 1979 we bought our present home and built a 15′ x 25′ standalone glass greenhouse.

Greenhouse at Pacifica

As our avocation expanded we rented additional greenhouse space in Daly City sharing it with other orchid friends. For the 15 or so years we’ve rented space in Pacifica, California. We currently grow in a 3000 sq. ft greenhouse and hybridize orchids. John and I do our own lab work, pod to blooming plant; have a well equipped lab in our home.

We both had careers at UC Berkeley. John retired as manager of Printing Services, an operation that printed for all nine campuses and I retired as manager for facilities and equipment of the Marvell Microfabrication Laboratory, a shared semiconductor research facility meeting needs for more than 400 researchers.

We specialize in cool growing Andean orchid species, John in the genus Dracula and Masdevallia and I in Odontoglossums.Our goal is to improve plants in these genera, share them with others and do our best to maintain the interest in hobby orchid growing given, as with many hobbies, a “greying” of participants. We now see our collection and work mostly as a preservation effort.


In addition to orchids I play classical piano. We are both avid art collectors – yet another of our bottomless money pits and John is the editor of The International Odontoglossum Alliance newsletter published in both Spanish and English with a readership of more than 180 subscribers.

My talk begins with the discovery of nature at the beginning of the 19th Century, an age of invention and the tremendous social changes which that century begot. The Victorian orchid craze was one result. The momentum and enthusiasm for orchid raising went on for most of the next 100 years. We have entered an age where hobbies are graying, competing with social media for time. Property values are high, building codes interfere with construction of greenhouses and big-box stores sell orchid plants below cost as “price leader” thus destroying small businesses. Inept interference by the Royal Horticultural Society and a failure of leadership by the American Orchid Society have created an embargo on how plants travel. The future of the orchid hobby is bleak.”


The Plant Table will be supplied by Bob Hamilton and John Leathers

Dinner with the Speaker at 5:30 p.m. is at Aung MayLika 1050 Contra Costa Blvd, Concord, CA 94423

Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speaker – email Betty at kauwonn@gmail.com to reserve a seat.

Most of the orchids we see at shows and on show tables are sympodial where one growth finishes and a new one starts from the rhizome. This presentation will focus on those with a monopodial growth habit. Those where the plant grows upward from a single point. It adds leaves to the apex each year and the stem grows longer accordingly.

This talk will focus on the wonderful variety of monopodial genera of great interest to orchid growers. It includes miniatures as well as some rather large species, some well known and others not often seen. It will cover aspects of culture in general and individual species. You will see images of flowers up close as well as whole plants. There should be something of interest to growers from all levels of experience.

Marni Turkel (pronounced tur KELL) is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and has been growing orchids since 1980. She grows in four greenhouses in Santa Rosa with approximately 1250 sq ft of growing space. Her main interest is in miniature species but plenty of larger plants have crept into the collection as well.
Marni has been a contributor to Orchids magazine with her series called ‘Well Worth the Space’ and ‘Give It a Rest’. Her articles have been translated into Dutch, German, Portuguese and Swedish for international publication. Photographs of her plants have been featured in articles of noted orchid publications including Orchids Magazine, Orchid Digest, Richardiana, The Orchid Review, and The Australian Orchid Review. For the last few years she has been sharing her photographs and knowledge on OrchidsForum.com.
Starting in 2009, Marni expanded her work with orchids to include propagation of orchids from seed and has set up a flasking lab of her own to take the process from start to finish and sell flasks of many of the orchids species in her collection.
After working for over 43 years as a potter, she has retired from ceramics to pursue orchids full-time.

Gastrochilus formosanus

Schoenorchis buddleiflora

Angraecum lecomtei

“I was first stuck by the orchid bug in my early teens, when I discovered a commercial Phalaenopsis grower near where I grew up in Phoenix Arizona.
After moving to the San Francisco Bay area in 1976, I quickly became acquainted with Rod McClellan’s orchids in South San Francisco and it wasn’t long until my kitchen window was brimming with orchids.

A move to Santa Rosa (Sonoma County) in 1989, afforded an opportunity to house my rapidly growing orchid collection in a backyard greenhouse. In 1999, my wife and I completed construction of a new greenhouse (and home) in Petaluma.
Austin Creek Orchids was established in 2001. I semi-retired from the high tech industry in 2014, leaving more time for grandchildren… and orchids!

In the past few years, I have focused largely on Paphiopedilums, although I grow many other genera including Angraecum, Bulbophyllum, Cattleya, Dendrobium, and various vandaceous species and hybrids.

My wife and I have done a fair amount of international travel over the years, but with the exception of our 2015 trip to southwestern Australia, it was never about orchids.”

Elythranthera brunonis

Thelymitra villosa

Caladenia chapmanii


This is our big annual fundraiser. Help out DVOS by donating your amazing plants. To prepare your plants:

  1. Please ensure the plants you bring are bug-free
  2. Please tidy up your plants by cleaning the leaves and weeding the media
  3. Please bring plants you think others would like to bid on

The DVOS board will provide refreshments. All you need to bring is your wallet, checkbook, or credit / debit card.


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