September 2000

Check out past editions here.

September 5, 2000 - 6:30 PM


Duncan Werth, 2nd Vice President

Greetings, Orchid Fans! I hope the Plant Clinic went well, I was out with a summer cold and was not able to make the class. Thanks to everyone who helped diagnose the orchids. For September’s Novice Class, I have convinced Loren Batchman to tell us all about Cymbidiums. He’ll talk about general culture and care of cymbidiums. Come learn from one of the best!

September 5 2000 - 7:30 PM - CASA DEL PRADO - ROOM 102 - (not Room 101 due to construction.)

George Kenner, First Vice President

For September, we have been able to convince another world recognized orchid authority to grace our podium. He is a Past President of the California Riverside-San Bernardino Counties Orchid Society; so many times over that I think he has lost count. He is the author of several "Best Selling" orchid culture manuals and has a new tome out entitled GARDEN WRITING: FOR NEWSLETTERS AND MAGAZINES. I am sure that, after reading this biographical sketch, he will insist that I purchase and memorize his latest effort!!

This gentleman is a retired United States Air Force Officer, currently dividing his time between the mountains and the sea; depending on the season. (I will mention, with admitted malice, the Air Force always gets the goodies.)

I am speaking, of course of the redoubtable Phalaenopsis Evangelist - BOB GORDON. This will not be Bob’s first visit to our society and I certainly hope it won’t be his last.

The title of Bob’s presentation for the evening is a two-parter. Part #1: Some Problems with Phalaenopsis Culture. Part #2: How to Solve Them. (The "couldn’t- do -without it" part.)

Bob has graciously agreed to bring along some copies of his Phalaenopsis culture book series. They will be available for purchase. He will be happy to autograph the new copies - or old ones if you have one on the shelf.

The plant table will be furnished by one of our own Phalaenopsis propagandists - Charlie Fouquette. Charlie mentioned that he had some real nice "Reds" coming along. Buy some raffle tickets. You just might get lucky.

Note: Until we return to our usual meeting room #101 please DO NOT bring plants for show to the meeting. There just isn’t enough space. Hopefully we’ll be back by the September meeting but you will find out right here. Thanks

Members and Advertisers

If you have monthly meetings or announcements related to orchids, make sure the information gets to the Editor by the Second Tuesday of each month for publishing in the next issue of this newsletter. To contribute articles or to advertise your orchid-related business, please contact Rebecca Lawrence, Editor, 820 Ocean Crest, Cardiff, CA 92007, Phone: 760-943-8860 or E-mail: .

An Introduction:

My name is David Graham and I am one of four people interested in working together becoming editors or co-editors of the newsletter.

I was editor of the San Diego Epiphyllum Society’s newsletter for two years, several years ago, so have a good idea of what it will require to publish the newsletter every month. (Lots of hard work!!!)

Here are some ideas and thoughts that I have in mind for the newsletter. I would like to receive comments and input from fellow members to make it happen.

Color Photo edition perhaps once a quarter. If there is enough interest, I will contact the board of directors for the funding to make it happen. I would like to use some of the pictures of the orchids that have won awards at the flower shows. If there is enough interest, I will again do some research and find out what it would cost to put a color photo as the cover to the newsletter.

Member’s Classified / Want Ad Page. Members can inform others about plants that they have available, as well as plants that they are looking for. I, for one, have a large greenhouse that I have just finished and want to find others that have divisions available.

Question Page where members can send in questions that they have on orchids. Members can send in tips and suggestions on how to help others. Shortcuts to make things easier. Found a good place to get supplies, WEB sites for interesting articles, let others know via the newsletter. Other comments always welcome.

Remember that this newsletter is Your Newsletter and is made available to present information to you and other members.

I did articles on several of the local Epiphyllum hybridizers (I am not a journalist), so the articles were done on an amateur scale. If there is enough interest, I may contact some of the local hybridizers and growers to do short articles about them.

My email address is . Thanks, Dave

SDCOS Conservation Committee
Awards Over $6,100 in Grants

This July the SDCOS Conservation Committee met to evaluate 16 grant applications for orchid conservation projects to be considered for this year. We received applications from Asia (Russia, Ukraine), Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Cameroon), and, on our own continent, North (Illinois, Hawaii), Central (Mexico, Belize), and South (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil) America. While it was at times a very difficult job, in the end our committee narrowed the list of those to receive funds to four. Here are brief descriptions of those four projects.

ECUADOR: Orchid field biologist Lou Jost is surveying volcanic mountains of what is likely the most orchid-diverse country in the world, Ecuador, to determine what habitats make for especially rich orchid populations. His goal is to be able to identify criteria that will allow a government agency or landowner to select orchid-rich areas for protection from logging or agriculture, without having to spend their limited time and funds to first evaluate which orchids, in what numbers, live in each area. This could provide a practical, straightforward model for other countries to adopt in their own conservation efforts, and hopefully protect habitat sooner, rather than much too late. This part of Ecuador is the home range of many amazing orchids, especially cool-growing Masdevallias, Draculas, and Lepanthes. Jost is an excellent botanical illustrator, and is working with Carlyle Luer, Stig Dalstrom, Cal Dodson and Robert Dressler on the identification and illustration of numerous new Pleurothallid species. His project was awarded a grant of $2325 to support 3 months of field work.

BRAZIL: Our committee voted to award $2400 to the Rio Atlantic Forest Trust for a second year, to help continue its work in documenting orchids and their habitats in several large areas of coastal rainforest. This area is home to many popular genera, including Sophronitis, Zygopetalum, Oncidiums, Cattleyas and Laelias. Scientists Richard Warren and David Miller formed the Rio Atlantic Rainforest Trust over 20 years ago, and have worked effectively for two decades to protect almost 7000 acres of pristine rainforest from development. They have published a field and hobbyist guide, "Orchids of the High Mountain Atlantic Rainforest in Southeastern Brazil" (a copy is in our SDCOS library), and are working now on a second volume.

ILLINOIS: An award of $858 went to support a study of symbiotic mycorrhizal (fungal) associations of two species of terrestrial orchids native to Illinois. Dr. Laurence Zettler and his student, Scott Stewart, are working to isolate the mycorrhizal fungi of Platanthera leucophaea and Spiranthes brevilabris. Terrestrial orchids are notorious for being difficult, or even impossible, to germinate and cultivate in a nursery, and often die once removed from the wild. As such, they are at great risk of extinction from loss of habitat. These studies are directed at better understanding the unique relationships that orchids share with fungi during their life cycle, and to thus to more easily cultivate terrestrial orchids in vitro. Dr. Zettler is an internationally recognized authority on these highly specialized mycorrhizal associations.

PERU: Our grant of $580 will be used to purchase books and other essential reference materials for the Vargas Herbarium of the University of Cusco, and for the personal library of a most promising young University student, William Nauray. Nauray is actively studying the orchids of Wiñay Wayna, an orchid-rich, cloud-forest portion of the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. In addition, these resources may encourage other Peruvian students to become involved in orchid research, education and conservation. Mr. Nauray is working with the guidance of orchid taxonomist Eric Christenson, who frequently publishes in Orchids magazine, and who is author of a forthcoming book on the genus Phalaenopsis from Timber Press.

In the last two decades our society has raised, and donated, $64,050 to support worthwhile conservation efforts worldwide. While this certainly is only a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the requests we receive, and to the need that exists, we believe that even a small amount can make a big difference in encouraging public education and enabling hands-on conservation. This is especially true in less-developed parts of the world where a U.S. dollar goes much further than in more highly developed areas, and/or where local funds and focus on conservation are completely absent and the situation unlikely to change.

The projects our society has supported include helping to build a new, state-of-the-art greenhouse at the San Diego Zoo, habitat protection in the Ecuadoran rainforest and in Belize, cultivation and reintroduction of native ladyslippers in New Hampshire and studies of the population genetics of Epipactis gigantea here in San Diego County. This last study was carried out by high school student Arietta Fleming-Jones under the direction of Neal Biggart. Her work garnered several major prizes in the California State Science Fair, including the Sweepstakes Prize, and will be published in the near future.

This is a truly remarkable record of support for orchid conservation. It has been possible only with the hard work of volunteers in our society, beginning over 15 years ago up to today, and through the generous donation of many plants for sale by members, donors, and friends. And let’s not forget to thank all those wonderful customers who continue to buy the donated plants!

For our good work to continue, your plant donations must continue as well. The next SDCOS conservation plant sale will be October 14 and 15 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. NOW is a good time to round up those extra divisions, duplicates, or simply those plants you have run out of room for. No plant is too big, no plant is too small! We only ask that it be an orchid. We will clean them up, stake them, price them, repot them if necessary, so don’t hold off calling us because they are not picture-perfect. If you can, please include the name tag in the pot, or at least the flower color, as unidentified mystery plants are harder for us to sell. We will come right to your house to pick up any donation whenever it is convenient for you! Call us between now and October 14th to donate for the fall sale. Remember…We accept donations for conservation year-round! All donations, whether plants or cash, are fully tax-deductible; you will receive an official society receipt for your records.

To arrange a plant pick-up, call one of these conservation committee members: Ron Kaufmann (858-270-7584), Peter Tobias (760-753-3173), Cindy Hill (858-481-5782), Siv Garrod (858-483-8787), Paul Tuskes (858-274-5829), Helmut Rohrl (858-452-0976), or Moti Bodner (858-484-2917).

Thank you for participating!!

Dates to Remember
September 2000

September 2, 9:00 am
SDCOS Species Group Meeting
First Saturday each month
Paul or Ann Tuskes (858) 274-5829

September 5, 7:30 pm
General Meeting
Note different room this month
Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park
Gary Pierwola (619) 426-9108

September 8, 7:30 pm
Palomar Orchid Society Meeting
Second Friday each month
Vista Community Center
Greg Luetticke (760) 724-4711

September 12, 7:00 pm
SDCOS Board Meeting
Second Tuesday each month
Balboa Park
Siv Garrod (619) 483-8787

September 15
Zoo Orchid Greenhouses Open House
Third Friday each month
Janette Gerrity (619) 231-1515 ext. 4306

September 20
Cymbidium Society Meeting
Third Wednesday each month
Carlsbad Women’s Club
Larry Phillips (619) 746-5518



October 14th and 15th
San Diego International Orchid Fair
Del Mar Fairgrounds
John Walters

October 28th and 29th
East - West Orchid Show
New Otani Hotel, Los Angeles

September / October To Do Checklist

Cattleya Despite the shortening days and lowering angle of the sun, September can still be one of the hottest months.

Water and fertilizer need to be in balance with heat and light. The alert grower will notice, however, that his or her plants are beginning to slow down a bit. Growths are maturing, and the sheaths are giving the promise of the next six-months' bloom.

Check plants for potting needs for the last time this season. Any in dire need should be potted, even some that may be on the cusp, as there is just enough of the growing season left to allow the plants to establish before the days start to get really short and cold.

This is the month for purples derived from Cattleya labiata breeding to flower. If you are short on flowers, look into this group. There is nothing that can quite match this type for beauty and fragrance. They are easy to grow, too.

Plants summered outdoors should begin to be prepared to be brought back into the winter growing area. Clean the plants up and be on the lookout for any pests they may have picked up during the summer. Treat as necessary.

Cycnoches This little-known and under-appreciated genus, which can have male or female flowers, is at its best in the autumn. Two of the spectacular varieties are Cycnoches loddigesii, with its large brown flowers resembling a prehistoric bird, and Cycnoches ventricosum, the swan orchid. This last one has large, fragrant green flowers. The biggest problem, culturally, will be red spider mite infestations that require immediate attention. Plants are quite seasonal, requiring heavy watering in the growing season and then a drier dormant winter season.

Cymbidium Through diligent modern breeding programs, the cymbidium season gets stretched longer and longer. Now we can expect to have flowers open as early as September and October. Stake inflorescences and move the plants to a shadier location to help the flowers develop successfully. Because the plants will have warmth tolerance "built in" genetically, keeping the plants as cool as possible will help prevent bud curl. For the midseason varieties, inflorescences should be initiated by now. Feed plants on a regular schedule with a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20) and shade the plants lightly.

Dendrobium This is a good season for hybrids of the Dendrobium phalaenopsis and Dendrobium canaliculatum types. Both are capable of putting on tremendous shows of long-lasting flowers. Fertilize with a low-nitrogen formula to promote the best flowers. Dendrobium phalaenopsis can get tall and top heavy, suggesting an attractive and heavy container would be appropriate for this type.

Lemboglossum bictoniense Both Lemboglossum (syn. Odontoglossum) bictoniense and its hybrids bloom in this season. Lemboglossum bictoniense is a showy speciesfrom Mexico that has three different color forms: sulphureum (green Odcdm. Bittersweet and Odm. bicross) ease of culture, warmth tolerance and eye-catching patterns. They make a prime candidate for odontoglossum beginners and advanced alike.

Paphiopedilum Standard, green-leaved paphiopedilums begin to show their bloom sheaths this month. Late-season heat waves can blast these early sheaths, so be observant about proper cooling and air circulation. As with the rest of your plants that may have been summered outdoors, it is time to prepare for their move inside. Clean each plant and implement pest-control practices. Repotting, if necessary, is appropriate.

Phalaenopsis The bulk of this season's growth is being ripened this month, with growers in cooler climates seeing the first emerging inflorescences. Some night heating may be necessary in the cooler areas. Begin to watch watering more carefully, and reduce feeding proportionately with reduced watering needs. An extra dose of phosphorus and potassium, such as a bloom-booster or high-acid-type fertilizer, is beneficial.

Rossioglossum grande Once known as Odontoglossum grande, this is a spectacular orchid with six to eight flowers up to 8 inches across. Often known as the tiger orchid, it has bright golden yellow flowers heavily marked with chestnut brown barring. The plants are beautiful with a grey-green cast to the foliage, which is borne on succulent pseudobulbs. It prefers hot and wet summers with cooler, even down to 40 F, dry winters. Grow under filtered light. Watch for snails and slugs that eat the flowers, pseudobulbs and leaves.

Prepared by Ned Nash and James Rose.

SDCOS Conservation Grant Recipients 1984 – 2000

Did you realize... our Society of Volunteers has raised and donated over $64,000 to support orchid conservation here and abroad? Funds come from the sale of your DONATED PLANTS* at our twice-a-year sales booth. A full 100% of the proceeds go to support worthwhile conservation efforts. You Go, San Diego!!!


1984 San Diego Zoo Orchid Greenhouse construction $15,000
1991 Rio Bravo Habitat Conservation – Belize $4,640
1992 Rio Bravo Habitat Conservation – Belize $4,570
1993 Rio Bravo Habitat Conservation – Belize $4,950
1994 San Diego Zoo Orchid Viewing / Education $4,500
1995 Los Angeles County Arboretum Orchid Program $2,000
1996 UC Irvine Arboretum Orchid Research $2,000
1997 Quail Botanical Gardens – Outdoor Orchids Displays, Signage, and Maintenance $3,600
1997 Orchid and Habitat Research, South Africa $1,700
1997 Native Ladyslipper Propagation & Re-introduction, New hampshire, USA $1,706
1998 Survey of Native Orchids, New South Wales, Australia $750
1998 Genetic Diversity of Epipactis gigantea, San Diego County $1,050
1998 Vegetative Propagation of D. anosmum, Hawaii $300
1998 Grant to 16
th World OrchidConference, Vancouver, B.C., Canada $1,000
1999 Habitat protection and survey of native orchids, Rio Atlantic Forest Trust, Brazil $2,400
1999 Survey of Last Remaining Paphiopedilum habitats, North Vietnam $3,000
1999 Habitat Conservation - Ceiba Foundation, Ecuador $2,000
2000 Relationship Of Species Diversity To Habitat Type, Ecuador $2,325
2000 Study of mycorrhizal associations in Platanthera sp, Illinois, U.S.A. $858
2000 Reference books & materials for University, Machu Pichu, Peru $580
2000 Habitat protection, Rio Atlantic Forest Trust, Brazil $2,400

Due to space limitations, these project descriptions are of necessity short. If you would like to learn more details about any of these projects, or how they were selected by the committee, please contact Peter Tobias, conservation committee chairman, at (760) 753-3173, or e-mail .

* all donations, whether plants or cash, are fully tax-deductible.

You are Invited to Dine with the Speakers

The society hosts a dinner for the scheduled speaker prior to the monthly meeting each month. You are all welcome to join us at that dinner, It’s a perfect opportunity to socialize with some of the foremost orchid authorities of our day - and pick their brains FOR FREE!! Well, the brain picking is free but the dinner will cost you. The society picks up the tab for the speaker, his wife / companion and the assigned host. All others are "Dutch Treat."

Last month we utilized the new restaurant in the park named "The Prado" - the old "Cafe Del Rey Moro.", and I have decided to repeat "The Prado" for future dinners. It is handy to the meeting place, easy for the speakers to find and early arrival for the dinner (approximately 5:45 pm) practically ensures a good parking spot.

Reservations are strongly recommended by the restaurant management and I would encourage all who wish to join in the festivities to call me at (619) 660-0161, at least a few days before the meeting.

Lets make it a monthly ORCHID EVENT!!

See you there! George Kenner


One good ant bait is made from technical grade boric acid. Do not use medicinal boric acid as it is too easily confused with sugar or salt.

Mix 3 cups of water with 1 cup of technical grade boric acid formulated for pest control. Wrap 3 or 4 jam jars with masking tape.

For a large infestation pour a half cup or so of bait into each of the jars, which have been loosely packed with absorbent cotton. If you have kids or pets screw the lids tightly onto the jars, and seal with adhesive tape. Then pierce the lids, making two or three small holes, and smear the outside of the jars with some of the baited syrup. Place the jars where the ants forage and where the kids and pets can’t disturb them. It will take a few days but eventually the ants will be swarming the jars. Some of the ants will die near the jars, but most will carry the poison back to the colony. Do not kill the ants massed around the jars. Just let the bait work and you shouldn’t have any problem.

The Bug Man (Richard Fagerlund)


To make Ant Bait pellets: Purchase powdered borax from a grocery store or cleaning supply store. Mix the borax powder with evaporated or condensed milk (such as Carnation) until you have a stiff paste. With a spoon, drop teaspoon-sized portions onto wax paper and let stand 24 hours or until pellets are formed. Place pellets on orchid pots and remove when ants have disapppeared.

This should work for all small ants, but does not usually help with carpenter ants. 


A warm hello to all of the folks who recently joined as new members. Hope to see all of you at our upcoming meetings!

Our society thrives on membership participation. We hope you will let us all get to know you better by participating at meetings and at the various events throughout the year.

And to our current members, introduce yourselves to our newest members and be sure to make them feel welcome--after all, each of us were new members once upon a time!

Barbara Cala

Ellen Leeuwen

Valerie Felts

EllaMarie Hirsch

Eksie and Roldan Mislan

E. T. Kemper

Teresa St. John

SDCOS Board of Directors Meeting

August 8, 2000

Meeting called to order at 19:00

Present: Gary Pierwola, George Kenner, Duncan Werth, Barbie Mays, Dave Mays, Sam DeMaria, Loren Batchman, Ben Machado, Fred Weber, Alma Marosz, Genie Hammond, and Siv Garrod.


1. Last meeting’s minutes were read, and approved by motion.

2. Treasurers - Barbie Mays - Report for July was presented and filed for audit.

3. First vice president - George Kenner - The speaker at the September meeting is Bob Gordon. He will talk about Phalaenopsis orchids. The plant table will be provided by Charles Fouquette or Carmela Orchids.

4. Second vice president - Duncan Werth - Loren Batchman will discuss Cymbidium culture.


1. The by-laws committee, chaired by Paul Tuskes, has not had a chance to organize a meeting due to heavy traveling.

2. The proposal to the Garner fund to fund books for the University in Peru is under consideration.


1. John Walters informed the board the running of the San Diego International Orchid Fair founded by Greg Luetticke and Bill Baker will be done by the Quail Botanical Garden.

2. A search for a new Show Chair is underway.

3. Sam DeMaria made the motion not to have a theme for next year’s show. S. Garrod seconded and no one opposed.

4. The next Show meeting is after the September Board meeting.

Meeting adjourned 19:55 Submitted by Siv Garrod


The SDCOS offers this service to members who seek cultural information about their orchids. Here are some friendly hobbyists with a great deal of experience about certain types of orchids, and who have kindly volunteered to answer your questions.

Cattleyas, Oncidium/Odontoglossums, Vandaceous, Greenhouse grown, West SD County

Forrest Robinson - (619) 270-6105

Species, all types, Indoor and Outdoor

Ann & Paul Tuskes – (858) 274-5829


Ann Tuskes - (858) 274-5829

Bob Hodges - (619) 461-4915,

Phalaenopsis, Cattleyas and Dendrobiums

Alma Marosz – (619) 583-0334

Vandas, Ascocendas

Edith and Leno Galvan - (619) 441-7503

Encyclias, Epidendrums, Laelias

Tom Osborn - (760) 787-0282


Don van Kekerix - (619) 224-4938


Loren Batchman -

Sam DeMaria - (619) 295-2951

Northeast County, all types

Dave Reid - (760) 728-7996

San Diego West County, all types

Jean Beck - (619) 435-8211

San Diego Central, Outdoor, all types

Jim Wright - (619) 276-5295

Fred Tomaschke - (619) 276-3225

San Diego East County, all types

James Masst – (619) 443-2800

Bud Close – (619) 444-8839

South County all types

Genie Hammond -- (619) 426-6831

Ed Marty – (619) 470-7175




Photography ©Greg Allikas