DVOS Meeting

Our auctioneer is Carol Klonoswski!

This auction is going to be outside in August. Make sure you have sun protection, water, chairs.

IF YOU CAN’T BE PRESENT IN PERSON, BUT WOULD LIKE TO BID on items in the catalog, we have appointed Pat Bacchetti to act as Proxy and bid for you. Please contact her at bacpab@comcast.net no later than August 6 for details. This service is available to DVOS members only.

Click here to open the catalog for our upcoming auction.

The July DVOS monthly meeting will be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format once again.

Our July meeting will feature Scott A. McGregor, who in addition to having a notable career in the computer software and hardware industries, has been growing orchids since he was 12, when a neighbor gave him a plant. That plant had a short life, but the hook was set. Scott studied books on orchids and sought out sources for orchid species while growing up in St. Louis, MO. Having lived in different locations around the world, his collection evolved over time, but has always centered around more “unusual” species. Scott grows all his plants outdoors, without a greenhouse, just “subtracting some sunlight and adding some water” to what nature provides at his current home in Orange County, CA.

 

Diuris magnifica

He especially enjoys finding new species that grow well in our Mediterranean climate (many are far more adaptable than most people would believe), and now grows over 500 different orchid species, along with cloud forest companion plants such as Heliamphora and epiphytic Utricularia. He rarely uses chemical insecticides or fungicides, preferring fresh air, beneficial insects, and our native tree frogs.

 

Scott retired from the corporate world a few years ago but stays active on various corporate boards and working with non-profit organizations that promote science education for kids.

 

Ophrys tenthredinifera

Ophrys tenthredinifera

Calypso bulboa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DVOS meetings are open to everyone.  DVOS members are automatically sent the Zoom login link via e-mail.  Non-members of DVOS who wish to attend should RSVP to: dvosshowandtell.@gmail.com before 7/13/22 and you will be sent the login information for the meeting.

DVOS members who “attend” the meeting and who have paid their 2022 dues are automatically entered into the monthly drawing for one of two $50 gift certificates, good towards a purchase of an orchid or supplies from a recognized orchid vendor.

 

The June DVOS monthly meeting will once again be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format and will feature Harvey Brenneise of Oak Harbor, WA, who will be speaking on the semi-hydroponic method of growing orchids. This technique differs from full hydroponic culture because the water does not circulate; instead, it stays as a reservoir at the bottom of a vessel with a rock layer above it that draws the water up to the root zone.  Harvey will discuss media, pots and reservoirs, watering and fertilizing, and other tips for using this technique of growing orchids without an organic potting medium

A California native, Harvey has grown orchids for most of his life, beginning at the age of 10 with a wonderful clone of Cattleya trianae given to him by an experienced local “orchid lady.” To encourage his son’s interest, his dad then traded a playhouse for a small greenhouse for Harvey to use as a boy while growing up in Mountain View.

Harvey is a retired professional librarian, and has worked in various academic and public libraries, including Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and the Seattle Public Library. Most recently he was Associate Dean for Research Services at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Harvey has grown a wide variety of orchids under many different conditions – in greenhouses, outside, under various types of lights, and on windowsills in Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, California, and Washington state. His plants have received 6 Awards of Merit (AMs) and 2 Highly Commended Certificates (HCCs, mostly for slipper orchids).  He is a past chair of the American Orchid Society library committee and co-authored an Orchids magazine article with Rob Halgren on “growing orchids in mud”. Harvey has been a member of numerous orchid societies, including the AOS, the Mid-America Orchid Congress, the Michiana, Dunes-Kalamazoo, Greater Lansing, Riverside-San Bernardino, Gulf Coast, Northwest, and Mt. Baker orchid societies.

DVOS meetings are open to everyone.  DVOS members are automatically sent the Zoom login link via e-mail.  Non-members of DVOS who wish to attend should RSVP to: dvosshowandtell.@gmail.com before 6/8/22 and you will be sent the login information for the meeting. DVOS members who “attend” the meeting and who have paid their 2022 dues are automatically entered into the monthly drawing for one of two $50 gift certificates, good towards a purchase of an orchid or supplies from a recognized orchid vendor

 

The May DVOS monthly meeting will be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format once again, though, we hope to return to in-person meetings in June.

Our May meeting will feature Ray Barkalow of First Rays LLC (www.firstways.com), a company he started to provide supplies for orchid enthusiasts and to disseminate his orchid expertise. His DVOS talk at our May meeting, entitled “Bugs and Juice”, will provide an overview of the use of beneficial microbes and phytochemical stimulants in orchid care, including curative, preventative, and supportive functions. He will cover plant “probiotics” to make them more disease resistant; biological bactericides, fungicides, and insecticides; plant growth stimulants; and nutritional uptake enhancers.

Ray’s orchid-growing career began nearly 50 years ago when he was a Ceramics Engineering student at Georgia Tech. After a year as a volunteer at the public greenhouses at what is now the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, the orchid grower there gave him a big, “floofy” purple cattleya. Ray says it took him just two years to kill it via the typical root rot-desiccation torture cycle. Because he didn’t want to be known as an orchid assassin, he became determined to learn more about orchid culture and, like many of us, became addicted to this fantastic family of plants.  Nevertheless, he admits to killing his share of other orchids in the subsequent decades and quips: “Isn’t it true that you’re not an orchid-growing ‘pro’ until you have killed your weight in plants?”

Ray is known for his scientific approach to cultivation, looking at the factual “whys” behind the myths and dogma associated with orchid culture, allowing him to confirm or disprove them.  For instance, he partnered with Rick Lockwood (our speaker at the Feb. 2021 DVOS meeting) to develop the formulation of the K-lite orchid fertilizer, a low-potassium formulation based on the compositional analysis of actual orchid tissues.

During his professional career in the chemical industry, Ray had many opportunities to travel internationally, and put together an extensive collection of orchids from around the world, mostly purchased from street vendors and shipped back to the U.S. on his (pre-CITES) import permit.  His busy travel schedule led him to do much experimentation on how to keep his collection healthy and happy during his absences, and that led to his development of a semi-hydroponic method of raising orchids.  Ray summarizes his work in this area in an American Orchid Society (AOS) webinar talk that’s available for AOS members to view: https://www.aos.org/orchids/webinars/member-only/semi-hydroponic-orchid-growing.aspx  (AOS member login required).

Ray loves meeting and communicating with people from around the world to share his knowledge of orchids.  For him, sharing his obsession is second only to growing the plants.

DVOS members will be sent the Zoom login link via e-mail.  Non-members of DVOS who wish to attend Ray’s talk should RSVP to: dvosshowandtell.@gmail.com and you will be sent the login information for the meeting.

DVOS members who “attend” the meeting and who have paid their 2022 dues are automatically entered into the monthly drawing for one of three $50 gift certificates, good towards a purchase of an orchid or supplies from a recognized orchid vendor.

DVOS monthly meetings will continue to be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format through at least April 2022.  Once again, we are taking advantage of this format to let us hear from another noted orchid expert,  Dr. Robert Griesbach, who will speak on the history of orchid breeding, a topic with which he is intimately familiar.

 

Dr. Griesbach earned a B.S from DePaul University in 1977, and a Ph.D. in genetics from Michigan State University in 1980.  After receiving his Ph.D., he joined U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), retiring after 40 years of service in 2020.  He spent his first 25 years at USDA-ARS executing a broad-based research program in plant genetics, focusing on the genetics of plant breeding and of flower coloration.  During his last 15 years at USDA-ARS, he was the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Technology Transfer, providing leadership on policies, procedures, and programs to facilitate the adoption USDA research results by the private sector. In 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science for his research contributions to horticulture.   In 2010, he received the American Horticulture Society’s H. Marc Cathey Award for his scientific contributions to gardening and horticulture, and in 2020, the Federal Laboratory Consortium awarded him its Harold Metcalf Award for his contributions to Federal technology transfer.

 

He has been an active member of the American Orchid Society since 1979, serving as an Accredited Judge, member and chair of the Research Committee, past-Trustee. and past-President.  He is also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Orchid Registration Authority Committee.  He regularly serves as a mentor to graduate students, as well as middle- and high-school students. He has been an instructor various workshops his office conducted in high schools, providing a primer on genetics, and presenting his popular talk, Thanking the USDA for Dinner. 

 

Beyond his scientific achievements, Dr. Griesbach served as an unofficial historian for the USDA and has published several papers on the history of the ARS’s scientific research, including a 2013 USDA publication describing the highlights of the first 150 years of the Agency’s programs for introducing and breeding new plants, which, although it does not mention orchids, is a fascinating read.

To attend Dr. Griesbach’s presentation, please follow the instructions below.

  • RSVP to dvosshowandtell@gmail.com no later than April 13th.
  • After you RSVP, you will receive the sign-in link and other final information before the meeting. Be sure to look for an email message from the e-mail address above. You do not need to respond to that message.
  • Before the event, please check to be sure you have the latest version of the “Zoom Client for Meetings” from: https://zoom.us/download. There are frequent updates.

 

DVOS monthly meetings will continue to be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format through at least April 2022.  As I’ve noted before, that allows us to hear excellent speakers from around the world who we would otherwise have difficulty bringing to our monthly meetings.  Our March 2022 meeting will continue along these lines and our featured speaker will be Professor Ken Cameron of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

 

 

Although the orchid family is one of the largest families of plants on Earth, with over 30,000 known species, only one genus in this enormous family has any large-scale agricultural value — the vanilla orchid).   Professor Cameron’s will speak on the fascinating natural history, phylogeny, and cultivation of the vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia) and its relatives.

Dr. Cameron is a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Director of the Wisconsin State herbarium, a collection of more than 1.4 million specimens.  His primary area of research is the systematics and phylogeny of the orchids, with a view to their conservation and protection. Working with scientists around the world, he is using modern DNA-sequencing techniques to develop a stable, evolution-based classification system for the orchid family (as well as other plant groups). He specializes in the subfamily Vanilloideae (which includes the vanilla orchid, among others) and literally “wrote the book” on this subfamily with his 2011 book, Vanilla orchids: natural history & cultivation. 

Professor Cameron received a B.S. in Biology from Rhodes College in Tennessee and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where his work on the phylogenetic relationships of the vanilloid orchids began.  Prior to moving to the University of Wisconsin in 2010, he had spent time as a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, was professor at Guilford College in North Carolina, and was the Director of The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

He is the recipient of both the George R. Cooley Award and the Peter Raven Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, as well as the Katherine Esau Award from the Botanical Society of America.

To attend Prof. Cameron’s presentation, please follow the steps below. If you would like to invite a friend, send me the name and email address and your guest will receive the sign-in information when you do.

  • RSVP to dvosshowandtell@gmail.com no later than March 8th.
  • After you RSVP, you will receive the sign-in data and other final information before the meeting. Be sure to look for an email message from the e-mail address above. You do not need to respond to that message.

 

Note that the February meeting will start at 6:30 pm PST  –  30 min earlier than usual !

DVOS monthly meetings will continue to be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format for at least the next few months.   Fortunately, that gives us access to excellent speakers from around the world who we would otherwise have difficulty bringing to one of our monthly meetings.  Our February 2022 meeting will continue to take advantage of that freedom and our featured speaker will be Dr. Melissa McCormick who will speak on the fascinating relationships between orchids and fungi.

The vast majority of all land plants form intimate associations between their roots and soil fungi.  These root-fungus associations, called mycorrhizae, typically enable a mutualistic symbiotic relationship in which both partners benefit;   the plants receive nutrients and water from the fungi, and the fungi receive sugars and other photosynthates from the plants.  Some plants, however, are “selfish”, taking advantage of the fungi and draining all their resources, giving nothing in return. Prominent among such plants are the orchids. In her talk to DVOS, Dr. McCormick will explain how the fungi help the orchids and why orchid conservation is leading to new mycological research.

Dr. McCormick is an Ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, where she has studied orchids and other plants since arriving there as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1999. She received a B.S. in Biology from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior from Michigan State University. She uses a combination of field- and DNA-based techniques to study plant-fungus interactions, plant conservation, general plant ecology, and plant invasions. Her main research focus is on orchid-fungi mycorrhizal associations and how they affect orchid rarity and distribution.  She is one of the founding members of the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC), a pioneering initiative to link botanic gardens, land managers, and researchers to conserve all the native orchids of North America. She has published over 25 papers about native orchids and their mycorrhizal fungi, and how they are affected by land use history, drought, and non-native earthworms.

 

To attend Dr. McCormick’s presentation, please follow the steps below. If you would like to invite a friend, send me the name and email address and your guest will receive the sign-in information when you do.

  • RSVP to dvosshowandtell@gmail.com no later than February 4th.
  • After you RSVP, you will receive the sign-in data and other final information before the meeting. Be sure to look for an email message from the e-mail address above. You do not need to respond to that message.

 

Unfortunately, our monthly meetings will continue to be held in a “virtual” (Zoom) format for at least the next few months.  Although we all miss seeing each other in person to socialize and eat all those yummy potluck goodies, holding meetings virtually has allowed us the freedom to host speakers from all over the world who we would have had difficulty bringing in to for in-person meetings.

Our January 2022 meeting will continue to take advantage of that freedom to hear from Sarah Hurdel, who will talk to us about how she grows a genus that has a reputation for being “difficult”:

 

Habenaria – Best in Show!
Learn about these often misunderstood, yet surprisingly easy to grow terrestrial orchids. Our speaker will provide an introduction to Habenaria species and hybrids and provide expert advice on how to grow them. Greenhouse not required!

 

Sarah is a grower, exhibitor, and accredited AOS Judge.  She has been growing orchids for about 20 years and currently maintains a collection of over 600 orchids under lights in her basement and has received numerous AOS award recognitions for culture, flower quality, and exhibit design, including the Walter Off Exhibit Award, given annually to the most outstanding exhibit in an AOS-sanctioned show.

Her presentations combine her love of orchids, photography, and illustration with experienced advice and a sense of humor.  She also has a Facebook Blog Page – Something About Orchids -<facebook.com/askmeaboutmyplants>.

 

 

Our final speaker for 2021Nicholas Rust, will lead us through the mysteries of the most talked about orchid group this Holiday season – jewel orchids.  His talk, perhaps reflecting the modern popularity of the group, is called “An Introduction into the Wild World of Jewel Orchids” and will be at our usual time of 7:00PM PST on Thursday December 9.

Nicholas is an up-and-coming hybridizer in the orchid community, seriously growing and studying orchids for about 7 years. His orchid passion arose during the end of high school when a Mini Phalaenopsis was gifted to him. Like a flame to gasoline, this gift quickly pulled him into the diverse world of orchids. Shortly after his interests were formed, he began exploring the culture of several unique genera of terrestrial orchids. He now specializes in Habenaria and other related genera, jewel orchids, and Bulbophyllum,

After studying biochemistry and molecular biology throughout college, Nicholas approached his orchids with the same scientific perspective he used while working in a research lab. This led to an interest in the entire growth cycle of orchids and the start of his own hybridization program which focuses on terrestrial orchids. His aim is to use rarely cultivated species and distinct variations of common species to create truly exceptional shapes and colors that will pave new directions for unique hybrids.

 

This month’s speaker will be Tom Mirenda who will be with us from Hawaii at 7:00PM PT on November 11, to lead us through his month long orchid safari to many different locations throughout Africa. Tom has been cultivating plants since his early childhood. Originally trained as a marine biologist, he moved to Hawaii in his early 20s where he worked on the trophic [nutritional] relationships between the denizens of coral reefs in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (Midway and French Frigate Shoals).

Tom Mirenda

Realizing he was better suited to horticultural pursuits he took positions at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and at the Greentree [Whitney] Estate in Long Island where he cared for a first class orchid collection. Eventually, Tom accepted the Orchid Collection Specialist position at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC where he cultivated and curated its 8000+ plant collection for 17 years. In better times, the Smithsonian collection was used to create months long educational exhibits visited by millions of visitors each year. Last fall, Tom left the security of the Smithsonian to take a leadership position at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, a jewel on the lush Hamakua coast just north of Hilo. What Tom found there was an orchid paradise where myriad spectacular orchids of all types, both lowland and montane, species and hybrids, seem to thrive when simply placed thoughtfully in the trees in the landscape.

Tom has contributed articles to ORCHIDS magazine for many years and has developed an international following as a writer, speaker and advocate for orchid conservation. Three years ago Tom co-authored “The Book of Orchids” with two scientists from Kew. He has done speaking tours in the British isles for the last three summers and presented on conservation topics at the last three World Orchid Conferences and several IOC and AOC conventions. Tom was a founding member of the North American Orchid Conservation Center and continues his support of orchid conservation there and around the world.

Tom Mirenda believes that ultimately the concept of growing orchids in a garden settings will be a viable model for orchid conservation world-wide and that it is only with the cooperation of botanical garden professionals, commercial growers, academia and committed orchid collectors and backyard growers, that orchids will survive the vicissitudes of climate change.