November 1998

General Meeting - November 3rd, 1998 - 7:30 P.M. - Casa del Prado - Balboa Park by Ben Machado, 1st V.P
Well, along the way of life it seems that one good contact leads to another.  In this case a long time friend of the San Diego County Orchid Society, Norito Hasegawa from Orange CA has provided the lead to another outstanding speaker.  Norton is helping out by hosting a visitor from North Carolina on a West Coast speaking tour.  Our guest speaker this month is Courtney Hackney from Wilmington, NC.  Somehow the title of his presentation seems to be a little bit out of character for someone from the hot humid environment of North Carolina because of all things his presentation is titled "Arid Growing Orchids".  Of course region is not any kind of pre cursor to orchid subject matter expertise, it's just a little different.  Courtney provided the following write up about himself.

"Courtney Hackney grew up in the Florida Keys where many Caribbean species of Orchids grew wild.  His first formal acquaintance with Orchids came when he began work at an Orchid nursery at the age of 13 and continues today after 35 years.  Even during years of college and graduate school he was accompanied by a handful of his favorite Orchids.  He is now a Professor of Biological Sciences and Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he teaches and conducts research on coastal wetlands.  He puts his ecological training and knowledge of genetics to practical use raising many species of Orchids and in hybridizing.  He grows about 1500 Orchids of all genera in a 22' x 32' Florida Style greenhouse.  He specializes in Caribbean species, especially equitant Oncidiums and Encyclia species.  In addition to maintaining breeding lines of several species, he hybridizes Phalaenopsis and Epicats.  He is a student judge in the Raleigh Center and writes a monthly "Orchid Tips" column which appears in newsletters of four orchid clubs in the Carolinas.  He lives in Wilmington, NC with his wife and two daughters."

Norito said he would accompany Courtney during his evening with us and has offered to provide the plants for our Plant Opportunity Table.  Remember his company name is "Paphanetics" so we can expect an interesting table of Paphiopedilums and some Phalaenopsis.

Pigeons, Statues and other stuff! by Harry, Editor

Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue!  Several persons were upset about the price to get into the Quail Gardens Orchid Fair and were complaining that the San Diego County Orchid Society should not charge so much.  Folks, you are barking up the wrong tree, the San Diego County Orchid Society had nothing to do with putting on that show or setting the prices or anything else.  The price was dictated by Quail this year in an effort to raise a little extra money.  So if you want to gripe, call them, (or you may see it again next year!!)

Quail does allow Palomar Orchid Society, The Cymbidium Society and our San Diego County Orchid Society to run stands there but even these booths are paid for, we all sell donated plants, so we and all the societies do get something from it.  But again, all they did was charge the same rate it is every day to get into Quail Gardens, and no parking fee.

Cost of Orchid Society Memberships (from the internet) (data collected by Cindy Hill)
Article by Don Garling

Ever wonder how your society's orchid membership costs and benefits compare to that of other local Orchid Societies?  Cindy Hill of Solana Beach CA polled members of the Orchid List Digest for information regarding membership fees and benefits of their local orchid society.  She received 37 replies spanning the US and 3 other countries.

The following Societies provided information: Boise, ID, Santa Monica C, New Orleans, NE Wisconsin, San Antonio TX, Birmingham AL, Lafayette IN, Coral Springs FL, York UK, Sheffield UK, Northeast PA, Diablo View CA, West Palm Beach FL, Arroyo Grande CA, Gold Coast FL, Key West, Boca Raton FL, Frederick MD, Manitoba, Raleigh NC, Greater Lansing MI, Ann Arbor MI, Delaware, Southeastern PA, South Bend IN, OS of Arizona, Australasian Native Orchid Society, Nova Scotia, Carmel CA, Wilmington NC, Portland OR. Central SW VA, Riverside/San Bernardino CA.

Cindy learned that the benefits of local society memberships included all or a combination of the following: monthly meetings and newsletter, guest speakers, plant opportunity tables, an annual picnic or dinner, shows, a name badge, a welcome packet (some with the book "How to Grow your First Orchid") and coupons to local vendors.  The average cost of an Individual membership was $14.24 (US$) while a Dual or Household membership was $19.68.  Membership fees ranged from $8.00 per year to $25.00, somewhat correlated to the size of the society and benefits of joining (smaller groups cost less, sometimes offered less benefits, but not always.)  For household/dual memberships, fees ranged from $10 to $35 per year.

Looks like a good value for your money regardless of the cost!  Don Garling is an Orchid Specialist at Michigan State University-Extension 9, A Natural Resources,East Lansing, MI 48824,(517)353-1989 e-mail:

Report from The SDCOS Conservation Committee:
by Peter Tobias

The Conservation Committee has completed work on reviewing nine proposals for funding and decided to make four awards.
1. The largest, for $1000, is to the 16th World Orchid Congress.  The theme of the congress is conservation and we have decided to fund honoraria for two speakers (2 x $250) and to assist with the expense of space for poster presentations ($500).  In recognition of our assistance, we have been allotted a poster space and free registration for one registrant to the meeting.  This will enable us to publicize our activities, hopefully leading to the receipt of interesting conservation proposals that we might fund.
2.The next largest sum ($900) is to Aaron Hicks of Socorro, NM.  Hicks is working to establish an orchid seed bank.  However, at this time, the best methods for preserving viability in stored orchid seeds are not known.  Our grant will enable studies of storage methods.
3. The next largest sum ($750) is to Greg Steenbeeke.  He is working on a mapping project in New South Wales, Australia, to locate populations of orchids in a region that faces development pressures.  This will be added to other native plant surveys and will be used to minimize the impact of local development projects.
4. Finally, we are supporting a high school science project in Hawaii in the amount of $300.  The teacher, Reynard Dela Pena, and the student, Kade Hashimoto, are studying the ability of benzylaminopurine, to promote nodal plantlet formation and development of the "honohono" orchid Dendrobium superbum.  D. superbum is not an endangered species, but it provides a readily available model to study the effects of benzyaminopurine.  These methods might later be used to promote the culture of other endangered species of orchid.  This latter project also meets our goal of promoting education in orchid conservation.

Before these awards, the Conservation Committee had amassed a sum of $6370 to support its projects.  This money did not drop out of the sky.  Almost all of it came from the sale of sold plants donated to support the committee's activities.  At the San Diego Orchid Fair, held recently at Quail Botanical Gardens, $1350 were raised which is an increase from last year.  Donors of plants were Tom Osborn (Courtland Orchids), Bruce Hubbard (Hubbard Farms), Paul and Ann Tuskes Paradox Orchids), Gary Pierwola (The Silver Orchid), Linda Blessing (Oceanside Orchids), Jerry and Concepcion Boyd (The Orchid Connection), Sandro Cusi (Rio Verde Orchids), Jose ‘Pepe' Portilla (Ecuagenera), Billy Baker ( Bill Baker’s Orchids) Susan Coyne, Siv Garrod, Cindy Hill, Ron Kauffman, Helmut Rohrl, Rebecca Lawrence, Peter Tobias, and one donor who escaped without leaving his name.  Dyna-Gro and Greg Luetticke also made valuable donations.

The people who turned the green leaves into green backs included Moti Bodmer, Susan Coyne, Siv Garrod, Nico Goossens, Cindy Hill, Lisa Humphries, Ron Kauffman, Sandy Leiby, Norma Nicolas, Esther Sivila, Don van Kekerix, John Vugrin.  Special mention goes to Esther Sivila who did not let anyone leave the booth without all the plants she knew they needed.  A special vote of thanks to these ordinary people who are heroes of orchid conservation.

The Conservation Committee is also working with Neal Biggart to develop a local project.  Neal is a high school science teacher in Chula Vista with a lot of students interested in science fair projects.  Her students have won several first prizes.  The project we are working to develop relates to the population genetics of our local orchid Epipactis gigantea.  When one considers conservation of a species it is necessary to consider ways to preserve not just a few individuals, but also the genetic diversity of the species.  Thus if seed were being collected for storage in the seed bank of Aaron Hicks, a project we are supporting, we would want seed that came from diverse individual plants.  But how is one to know that the plants providing the seed are genetically diverse ?  In Mission Gorge Park, there are several clumps of E. gigantea. Are they diverse ?  Or are they all nature's asexual propagations of the same plant ?  To determine this, one examines the size of parts of the plant's DNA using the techniques of modern molecular biology and compares these with samples from other plants.  Fortunately, Neal Biggart has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is expert in molecular biology.  She and her student will compare plants to determine whether they have the DNA size variability known as restriction fragment length polymorphisms or RFLPs.  If they do, then the plants are genetically distinct.  If they do not, then the plants are genetically identical.  This is the same technique used to determine parentage and to identify blood or other biological samples as coming from a specific person (Yes, Virginia, Monica Lewinski's blue dress.)  Neal and her student will also collect plant material from populations of E. gigantea from other parts of the county for comparison with the Mission Gorge specimens.  Fortunately, only a few leaves from a plant should be needed, that is, the plant is not destroyed in the process.  We hope this project will give us a better understanding of orchids in the county and should also serve as a model for what can be done with other species from around the world.  Peter S. Tobias is an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, Ca 92037, Tel: 619-784-8215, Fax: 619-784-8239, e-mail: .

November's Novice Class: 6:30 P.M.Casa del Prado, Room 104 Balboa Park

Everyone who went to October's Novice Class enjoyed the great presentation on Mini-Cattleyas by local grower Greg Leutticke.  Mini-Catts are truly exceptional orchids not only in their potential in hybridization, but also in their vivid colors and compact size.  Thank you, Greg, for your informative talk.

The Society will host a "Plant Clinic" at this month's Novice Class.  Simply bring in any plants that have strange markings and or pests that you are unfamiliar with, and we will try to give tentative identifications of the pests or pathogens involved and how to treat the problem.  Feel free to bring in any plant that you have had a difficult time growing successfully and we will try to elucidate what cultural requirements are not being met.  ALL PLANTS, LEAVES, ETC. MUST BE BROUGHT IN A PLASTIC BAG IN ORDER TO PREVENT ANY PESTS OR DISEASES FROM CROSS-CONTAMINATING OTHER PLANTS.

I also invite any experienced and veteran grower to join and help us with the "diagnosis" of the plants.  I hope to see you all with your plants at Room 104 at 6:30 PM.

Chris Herndon, 2nd Vice President

November Species Group Meeting - November 7th, 9 A.M. sharp

The next species meeting will be at Helmut Rohrl place in La Jolla, 9322 La Jolla Farms Rd, La Jolla, Ca 92037. (call 452 0976 for directions if not already received in the mail.)

SDCOS Board of Directors Meeting
October 13, 1998 by Siv Garrod, Secretary

Present: Fred Weber, Christopher Herndon, Bud Close, Leno Galvan, Edith Galvan, Ann Tuskes, Ben Machado, Cindy Hill, Duncan Werth, Rebecca Lawrence and Siv Garrod.

Meeting called to order at 7:05 P.M.

1. Last meetings minutes were read and approved.
2. Treasurer report for September was read, accepted and filed for audit.
3. First Vice president - The speaker for the November meeting is Courtney Hackney from North Carolina, the title of his talk is "Arid Growing Orchids". Norito Hasegawa will provide the plant table.
4. Second Vice president - "The Plant Doctor is In" is the theme their problem orchids and ask for help from other members.
5. Show Chairman - The November show meeting will not take place on the third Tuesday this month.  An alternate day may be picked for this month. Alternate choices of printers and advertisers are being considered.

1. Ben Machado suggested that we thank Linda Blessing for her generous donation of plants for the October plant table.  A gift certificate will be presented to her.
2. Rebecca Lawrence - our new Newsletter Editor showed some of her previous newsletter work.  Due to the change in editors there may be a few issues without advertisement.
3. Cindy Hill - Advertising Director will notify our advertisers of this change.
4. The San Diego Floral Society would like to know if the SDCOS will decorate a Christmas tree for the "Christmas on the Prado", December 5-6.  Anyone interested in doing this, please contact Fred Weber.
5. Duncan Werth - Our Webmaster presented a proposal to include a list of orchid books sold by the largest on-line book seller, on the SDCOS web page.  In return the society will get 15% on every book sold.  Since our Web page has an average of 60 hits per day, 4,331 total "visits' so far, this could generate further income at no cost to us.  A list of available books will be presented to the board before any action will take place.

The meeting was adjourned 7:45 P.M.

New Newsletter Editor In 1999-
by Harry, Editor

The first of January Rebecca Lawrence (943-8860) has volunteered to take over the newsletter responsibilities. We,,, (Harry and Patricia Tolen ) have been doing the newsletter for ten solid years now, it’s time to take a vacation.  I hope you will all help Rebecca as much as you have helped us in the past.

I want to thank all the persons who help us each and every month, that you never hear much about.

Vivian Follmer does the membership, but that also includes making out the total mailing list,, keeping it updated each month, making the labels and mails them to Genie Hammond.

My wife Patricia Tolen proof reads the newsletter, gets corrections made, then drives the originals to Office Depot for printing, drops them off, picks them up when they are ready and drives them up to Genie Hammonds.

Genie Hammond staples each individual newsletter, folds them, puts on the labels, and sorts and bundles them for the proper Post Office mailing.  Then she drives them to the Post Office and drops them off.

Cindy Hill who makes all the calls and contacts for getting advertising in the newsletter the last two years.

Thank you all for making this not such a painful job, we enjoyed doing it! Patricia and Harry Tolen, soon to be Ex-Editors

On the Web,
by Duncan, Webmaster

Drop by the WWW's only search engine for orchids : Pollinia! Pollinia is just starting off but it already has over 300 orchid links, each with a short discription.  Search by state or country.  Everything from vendors to societies, by Wendell Kozak.


Photography ęGreg Allikas