|Arizona Orchidist Newsletter January 2000
NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING
The next Board meeting will be held on Sunday, January
2, 2000, at 1:00 PM at Julie Rathbun's
home. Her address is 4225 W. Port au Prince, Phoenix.
Time: 1 PM
As always, the meeting is open to all members.
NEXT OSA SOCIETY MEETING
The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday,
January 6, 1999, at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix,
Arizona, (phone 252-2120). The meeting, open to all plant enthusiasts,
will start at 7:00 P.M.
Refreshments will be provided by:
Edibles/Kathleen Luther and Willie Stimmell
Grower on call for January is Joe Civello, 623-974-9327
OSA web site is: http://welcome.to/orchidsocietyaz
Our speaker for January will be Dr. Gustavo Romero from
Harvard University. Dr. Romero was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and
received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Organismal Biology in 1986 from Indiana
University. He speaks Spanish and English
with reading knowledge in French, German, Latin, and Portuguese.
Dr. Romero is currently employed as Keeper, Oakes Ames
Orchid Herbarium at Harvard. He is also the Editor of Harvard Papers
in Botany. His publications and awards are too numerous to even begin
to list. Honorary appointments include Fellow of the American Orchids
Society, Inc. and Member, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies,
Harvard. He collects yearly in Venezuela and also journeys
to Ecuador and Brazil to collect orchids.
Dr. Romero will be speaking on the unique habitats of
orchids in Southern Venezuela, where he is originally
We are honored to have Dr. Romero as our speaker for January.
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK
Lou Ann Remeikis
the New Millennium! I hope your holidays were filled with all
the things that make you happy! I sincerely hope you and your loved
ones remained safe and healthy and made wonderful memories of this special
holiday season to reflect on in the future.
The December Live Auction was very successful, and I
think those who attended had a lot of fun in the process. Unfortunately,
Joe Civello was under the weather and was unable to assist Joe Freasier
in the auctioneering. It was very nice for Doug Baldwin to jump in
and give Joe a break from all the talking. Talking for that length
of time, even in the fun venue of the auction, can be exhausting.
Thank you both for your help in conducting the auction and making it the
success it was. I also thank everyone who either donated, solicited
businesses for donations, or bid on the items. I don't remember
whom to credit for the idea of the numbers to be used by the bidders, but
it seemed to be an easier process than in years past.
You are aware of how much we appreciate the individual
members who donate items for our Live Auction, but I would like, at this
time, to acknowledge the businesses and non-members who graciously provided
items for the auction. Please patronize these businesses if you have
the chance. Many of them donate auction items annually for the benefit
of our Society and our members, and it is nice to show our appreciation
for their generosity. They are: Baker Nursery, Phoenix; Donald
Hahn, Natural History Books, Cottonwood, AZ; Raymond M. Sutton Jr.
Books, Williamsburg, KY; Rosemary McCain, Paintings &
Pottery, Queen Creek, AZ; The Orchid Bench, Fort Bragg, CA; and Windy Hill
Gardens, Labadie, MO.
Everyone should be congratulated on the variety of tasty
food that was brought to the December meeting. There was everything
you could want, from meats and cheese to the irresistible sweets.
To everyone who brought items for the buffet table - thanks!
On a sad note, as I mentioned
at the beginning of our December meeting, Jerry Pendleton passed away.
Jerry had rejoined our Society after moving back to Arizona from California.
Jerry succumbed to cancer; however, he had celebrated life by being married
shortly before his death. Jerry's family has indicated that should
anyone be so inclined, donations can be made in his name to the Phoenix
On a more pleasant note, I wish to extend
a warm welcome to OSA's newest member, Betsy Goodyear. Betsy grows
her orchids on windowsills and outside. I know we will all make her
Unfortunate for us, we had to accept
Keith Mead's resignation as Treasurer. We will still be in contact
with Keith on a regular basis; however, he is now living in Albuquerque,
NM, and his home in Ahwatukee is on the market. Keith accepted a
position with Unisource, the company he was previously employed by for
25 years. They made him an offer that was simply too good to pass
up. We certainly wish Keith, Judy and Kaitlyn the best that life
has to offer! We are happy for them, yet sad because the Society has "physically"
lost a truly wonderful man. Most of you have had the opportunity of getting
to know Keith over the years-and you know what I say is true. Our
newer members will not have the privilege of knowing what makes Keith so
special and loved by our members. Keith has always been devoted and committed
to making OSA the best it can be. Keith has WORKED very hard for
the Orchid Society of Arizona. If you want a description of an ACTIVE
member, look at Keith's accomplishments on OSA's behalf. Keith was
always there to coordinate and/or assist with our projects, community service
presentations, the annual orchid show, various orchid displays throughout
the year, preparation and mailing of our newsletter, and the professional
management of our finances. Keith, we will never be able to thank
you enough for all the contributions you have made to the Orchid Society
of Arizona. We have progressively become a better Society because
of your efforts and commitment. Personally, I want you to know just
how much we appreciate everything you have done.
I have appointed
Wilella Stimmell as the Treasurer to finish Keith's Millennium Term. As
you know, Willie has the same attributes that Keith possesses and I am
confident she will do an excellent job for us. Willie is another
ACTIVE WORKER for the Orchid Society of Arizona, and I appreciate her willingness
to jump in with both feet to help.
For your consideration:
I received a flyer from the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs, of which
we are a member. This flyer advises of a one-day motorcoach tour
to Kartchner Caverns on Monday, February 14, 2000. The trip departs
Phoenix at 9:00 AM from the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Avenue.
There will be a lunch stop (lunch not provided in package price)
along the way between 12:00 and 12:30. The group
will be at the Caverns for approximately two to two and one-half hours,
departing for home around 4:30 PM. There will be guided tours into
the Kartchner Caverns at 2:20 PM, 2:40 PM, and 3:00 PM in groups of 16.
The tour will end upon its arrival back to the Valley Garden Center between
7:30 and 8:00 PM. Tour Cost: $58.00 per person (this includes
roundtrip motorcoach transportation and admission fees to the Caverns and
Visitor Center). There is a deposit of $20.00 per
person (refundable until January 7, 2000). Final payment is due by the
same date (January 7, 2000). The flyer notes all payments become
non-refundable on January 8, 2000. If you are interested in participation
in this tour, contact Ford's World Travel, 14621 N. Del Webb Blvd., Sun
City, AZ, 623-933-8256. I am positive that this will be an interesting
meeting will, of course, be held on Thursday, January 6, 2000, at 7:00
PM at the Valley Garden Center. Our guest speaker for the evening
will be Gustavo Romero from Harvard University. Gustavo will be speaking
on the unique habitats of orchids in Southern Venezuela, where he is originally
from. We hopefully will hear a little about the Ames Orchid Herbarium
and the Glass Flowers of Harvard. I am sure he will prove to be a
very interesting speaker and willing to answer any questions you might
have. Please plan on attending and help us give him a warm Arizona
I look forward
to seeing everyone at the beginning of a new month, a new year, and a new
millennium! I wish you all a safe New Year.
Y2K DUES ARE DUE!!!!
Our calendar year ends on December 31. If you have
not sent in your renewal form and dues by January 15, your name will be
removed from our mailing list, and you will not receive a February newsletter.
Enclosed for your convenience is a renewal form.
Selby Vignettes-About Cattleya percivaliana O'Brien, or
"What's that Smell?"
John T. Atwood, Director, Orchid Identification Center
only in form but in the way they perceive airborne chemicals. Some people
perceive only slight fragrance of Encyclia alata while others find it heavy
and oppressive, perhaps even asthma-provoking (although I am unaware that
any orchid actually causes asthma attacks). Alberto M. Brenes described
the odor of Maxillaria maleolens Schltr., "... odeur d‚sagr‚able," but
to this nose the fragrance of coconut slightly tainted with mothballs isn't
And so it goes
with the Christmas Orchid, Cattleya percivaliana O'Brien, a species with
odor sometimes described as disagreeable. To this nose the aroma is similar
to rancid salad oil or mayonnaise. To me this is not particularly offensive,
but others react to it differently. Aside from the aroma, the flowers of
the better clones are stunning. Colors, shapes, and sizes vary considerably,
but are mostly lavender with lip marbled with a rich, dark purple and gold
sometimes outlined with a light lavender border.
is easily grown in Sarasota. I grow two different clones outside for most
of the year where they usually produce at least two consecutive cycles
of growth. Some clones are compact (to about 10 inches) displaying well
in a small area. Both heat and cold tolerant, my plants withstand temperatures
down to 38 degrees.
selected clones are displayed at Selby Gardens in the Tropical Display
house. If you can, come and see these natural wonders from mid-elevation
Venezuela and marvel at the variation evident in this single species once
known as the Christmas Orchid! Even if you cannot, we at Selby want to
wish you all the best of Holidays!
CULTURE CORNER: Spotlight on Liparis viridiflora
by Wilella Stimmell
At our recent
November show and sale, we offered a few robust plants of Liparis viridiflora
for sale. In a search of the literature available on the culture
of this plant, I made a rather interesting discovery: several highly regarded,
encyclopedic-type reference books on orchids do not even list Liparis as
a genus. And the sparse cultural information I was able to find,
can hardly be considered helpful for the successful cultivation of Liparis
in the low desert. However, there were some comments made by Alex
Hawkes in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CULTIVATED ORCHIDS (1965) and The RHS MANUAL
OF ORCHIDS (1995) that might prove helpful.
Hawkes indicated that viridiflora
is an intermediate to warm grower. The RHS MANUAL suggested that
the culture of Liparis would be "similar" to the culture of the Eria genus.
The micro-print in the "MANUAL" is best read with the assistance of a magnifying
glass! A few comments in the section devoted to Eria revealed why
I nearly killed the L. viridiflora that I bought in 1996. Aside from
the fact that I hadn't repotted the plant since I bought it, I overwatered
while it was still in robust condition. I did not take into account
the fact that the pseudobulbs were slender. I watered it the same
as I watered the rest of my orchids and gave it NO rest period in winter.
I now know that slender pseudobulbs require careful watering in winter.
AND I learned it BEFORE the plant completely died! To me, this represents
improvement over the past 15 years. My first three
orchids died from verwatering, and the more the plants shriveled, the more
I watered them until...they were completely dead. Although I was
a novice grower, even I knew at that point that there was no use watering...sticks!
With any luck,
you learn something new every day...if you're awake and WILLING to learn!
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
A reprint of 'On Fleas and Mites', written by OSA member,
Deacon Bell, and first printed in "The Arizona Orchidist", October, 1992,
page 4. A Y2K Epilogue follows Deacon's article and is offered by
Deacon's grateful pupil, W. Stimmell.
"So, naturalists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite 'em;
And so proceed ad infinitum."
British satirist, Eighteenth Century
"Great fleas have little fleas upon their back to bite
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves in turn have greater
fleas to go on.
While these again have greater still, and greater
still, and so on."
Morgan, British mathematician, Nineteenth Century
observations were made long before the vast array of pests and viruses
was known, but they seem to apply also to spider mites and false spider
mites on orchids.
I have yet
to see a false spider mite, yet I feel sure that some of my plants have
been victims. Rebecca Northen [author of in-depth orchid culture books]
says that small white spots on the leaves, the molted skins of the mites,
are evidence of their presence. Of course, other things can cause small
white spots on leaves. Since we know that false spider mites exist, might
not a horde of other mites even smaller also exist?
I visited Oscar Kirsch's greenhouse in Honolulu. I noticed that many
of the dendrobium leaves on his plants had small black spots. I asked him
whether or not the spots could be a virus. He said it wasn't a virus and
didn't seem to hurt the plants. Now I think it might have been small bacterial
infections, but how did the bacteria penetrate the skin of the plant? Could
a micro-mite with a juice sucking drill have let the bacteria in? I have
had a few similar black spots on dendrobium leaves and have found that
the New Zealand mite spray seems to stop its spread. In any case, it is
easy to use and harmless to people, so I will repeat the formula:
2 tablespoons cold water (liquid) Surf detergent
1 tablespoon methyl alcohol (shellac thinner)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Mix thoroughly in one gallon of water. If a precipitate
forms, strain the solution through fine cheese cloth before putting it
into a spray bottle. Apply at ten day intervals or as needed.
(At the time Deacon wrote the above article, he had 50
years growing experience, had lived and grown orchids in Dallas, Hawaii,
New Orleans, and Phoenix, and was 88 years young. Before Deacon moved
to Santa Fe in 1996, he donated most of his orchid collection to OSA. In
Santa Fe, he grew his orchids in the indoor greenhouse he designed and
built. OSA has the plans for the indoor greenhouse design, and we
have them available at all our displays. We also have a prototype
greenhouse on display at our various displays and our November show.
Bob MacLeod built the greenhouse according to the specifications outlined
in Deacon's design. In 1999, Deacon made the difficult decision to stop
growing orchids, and he donated his remaining orchids to OSA. These plants
were placed on our August raffle table. In a recent telephone conversation,
Deacon confessed that he REALLY misses orchids, but that he felt he made
the correct decision and was happy to think that his plants found good
homes among OSA members.)
Epilogue: Much has been written recently in various
publications about the latest "safe", natural product for controlling such
pests as scale, mealybugs, and even slugs - Neem Oil. I will probably
try this product on a few orchids and then make my own judgment regarding
its efficacy AND whether my test plants suffer any side effects... such
as DEATH, which in my opinion, would definitely be a negative because I
can kill my orchids WITHOUT any help! I offer two pointers to keep in mind
when using ANY "safe" spray:
1) "Safe" sprays of ANY
variety, even Deacon's formula, CAN HARM PLANTS IF APPLIED MORE FREQUENTLY
THAN ONCE EVERY 10 DAYS. This is particularly true in a greenhouse
situation where the humidity varies from high to...higher! Residue
from the first spraying will still be present in the stomata when the spray
is applied for a second time.
2) A "safe" spray should
NOT be combined with an even "safer" treatment. I sprayed a plant
with "safe" spray and then a few days later noted that a few mealy bugs
were still present (probably teenagers that I missed with the first spray).
I decided to gently wash the leaves with an old-time remedy, sudsy Fels
Naptha water. The end result was that the plant dropped all its leaves!
But...on the bright side, with no leaves, although the plant looked stupid,
there were no places for the mealybugs to hide! Sometime later, I read
in Rebecca Northen's book, HOME ORCHID GROWING (page 315 of the Fourth
Edition), her words of warning that anything more than a few drops of a
mild detergent in an emergency situation could cause injury to the plant.
Lesson learned (the hard way, of course).
A QUICK REPORT FROM JOHN ATWOOD AFTER HIS RETURN FROM
PANAMA IN NOVEMBER, 1999
In an e-mail
John sent after he and Bob Dressler returned from Panama, John stated that
he "got about 38 DNA samples from Western Panama that should help fill
as many gaps in our cladograms. Chiriqui is one of the strongholds
of the old segregate, Camaridium, which is not so common in South America.
Relationships of the species within this segregate have been guesses at
best. Bob got a number of new species of Sobralia... We returned
to a spot at Fortuna, Panama which I first visited 22 years ago when the
road was just being bulldozed for access for a planned hydro-electric dam.
The trees hosted lots of Phragmipedium humboldtii (the Central American
P. caudatum), and the riverside was the favored haunts of P. longifolium.
I had expected the P. longifolium to be missing with the rising levels
of the dam but found it to have invaded the roadsides in mass! Also
the P. humboldtii was seen scattered along the embankments, some in fruit
attesting to a healthy ecosystem, despite man's interference, or perhaps
because of man's interference. That the P. humboldtii will grow in
the ground as well as in the trees suggests
to me that the climate is probably key to successful
growing, and not the choice of substrate."
OSA COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORT
by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator
The first hands-on
program on our schedule for the new year will be presented on JANUARY 13
for 20 Kindergarten children who attend PHOENIX CHRISTIAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
The school is located at 2425 N. 26th St., Phoenix. The time of our presentation
is 10:30 a.m. The children's teacher, Paige Meyer, reports that her
students are very excited about working with orchids and seeing blooming
plants! At their teacher's request, the children have been bringing empty
milk jugs to school. Paige reported that her students are VERY curious
about what they will do with the jugs during the program.
On JANUARY 24, we will present two programs for 4th grade
students who attend MOST HOLY TRINITY SCHOOL, 535 E. Alice Ave., Phoenix.
The first program will begin at 1 p.m., and the second will begin at 1:45
p.m. Each class is comprised of 22 students.
enlist the assistance of teachers during the hands-on portion of our programs,
WE NEED AT LEAST 4 OSA MEMBERS to help with these programs because we strive
to give the children a one-on-one experience. We also NEED BLOOMING PLANTS
for a display table!
For our February
community service programs, we leave the classroom and work with adult
audiences. On FEBRUARY 1, from 7 - 9 p.m., we will do a repotting demonstration
for the City of Tempe, Outdoor Recreation Division, Gardening Section.
Plant lovers who participate in this group, meet at the Pyle Center, 655
E. Southern, Tempe. We will need blooming plants for a display table because...
blooming plants are ALWAYS an integral part of our presentations!
And if one or more OSA members have plants that need
repotting, this is an opportune time to get the job done AND do community
service at the same time!
On FEBRUARY 10, we will present a program for the members
of WEEDERS GARDEN CLUB. This AFGC federated club meets at 9 a.m. - usually
in the Recreation Hall of Boston Square Apartments, Chandler. But for THIS
meeting, the members of Weeders will gather at the home of one of their
members who lives in Sun Lakes. Our program will consist of a brief discussion
about our blooming display plants and a question and answer period. (AFGC
members are eager to learn about orchids! The "weeder" who requested this
program, booked us on June 1, 1999, BEFORE a Y2K calendar was available!
Also, in November, 1999, another AFGC club's Program Chairman requested
that we do a program for her garden club in August, 2000.)
if you know of schools, classes, or other groups that would appreciate
being introduced to the wonderful world of orchids, we operate strictly
on a first-come, first-served basis. Whether the group is a class in a
private or public school, makes no difference to us. Children are students,
regardless of where they attend school. Our community service programs,
like our society, function on a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. NO group is given
priority at the expense of another. The sooner a group requests a program
date, the more likely it is that we can accommodate them. Unfortunately,
if a group's contact person makes an
initial inquiry and then does not quickly follow-up on
a request, that group is likely to lose its "place in line".
OTHER MEMBER TIDBITS
is settled in his new home and hopes to rejoin our OSA family soon. Because
of failing eyesight, Leith Plunkett has had to give up driving AND his
faithful truck. (The truck is now living with his daughter in Oregon.)
But never fear: Leith is NOT grounded. He has a new form of transportation
that exercises previously unused muscles, is bright red, has 3 wheels,
and...a basket for hauling things! Drivers in the Scottsdale area
might spot Leith riding in the bike lane!
ATTENTION HARDCORE OSA E-MAILERS
Several of our members have changed their e-mail addresses.
To obtain the latest information, contact Lou Ann at email@example.com
4th Lucy Redmond
19th Frank Bopp
23rd Ann Shaffer
24th Kaitlyn Mead
25th Nelda Caldwell and Natalie Warford
28th Kristin Huisinga
29th Niki Hamilton
Happy Birthday Everyone!
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