The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966 



The Arizona Orchidist January 2001 January Program 
"The Culture of the Rupiculous Laelias of Brazil" 
Biographical Sketch by our Speaker, DR. THELMA (DEL) PACE: 

"I began growing orchids over 25 years ago. I was inquisitive about where and how orchids grow in their native habitats, so I went on collecting trips with experienced collectors. I was consumed with the idea that if orchids grow outdoors in nature, I needed to visit natural habitats to see where and how orchids grow. I wanted to grow my orchids outdoors, so I needed to visit natural habitats and learn how to replicate orchid environments. This is how I became involved with species and growing them outdoors. I spent at least 20 years learning which orchids would grow well in my 40 degree to 100 degree Fahrenheit environment. Subsequently I developed my business, PACESETTERS UNLIMITED. In 1985, I retired from my "day job" as Occupational Psychologist and expanded my "hobby" business into a pot nursery, DESERT TO JUNGLE NURSERY, which is an eclectic nursery which incorporates plants from both desert and jungle environments. I have been several times President of my home orchid society, San Fernando Orchid Society, am a member of the American Orchid Society, past Advertising Manager of the ORCHID DIGEST, and last but not least, am a member of OSA!" 

NOTE TO OSA MEMBERS AND GUESTS: Del will be bringing some special orchids for our JANUARY 4 SILENT AUCTION! 

We are now beginning fresh with a brand new year - 2001! I find it difficult to believe that the year 2000 is over but it is. I hope your holidays were filled with family and friends and all the things that make the traditions special. I, for one, have made some New Year’s resolutions that I hope I can live up to - time will tell! 

I wish to thank all our members for the generous additions to our food table at the December’s meeting and auction. Everything I had the opportunity to taste was wonderful! December’s meeting was a lot of fun, and hopefully everyone left with something they really wanted! I left with much more than I really needed - but I enjoyed the “friendly competition” and seeing the wonderful turnout for our annual auction event. Appropriately, a big “thank you” goes out to our two auctioneers, Doug Baldwin and Joe Freasier. They did a great job, as usual. Unfortunately Joe Civello, who was to have assisted in the auctioneering, took ill the day of our auction and was unable to participate. Joe, you were missed, but we hope you have fully recovered from that nasty flu. 

There are several of our members, or their family members, who are facing some serious illnesses. I am sure, that along with me, you’ll join me in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers. The auction can be considered a success! Not only were we financially successful during this fundraiser, we also sold all the plants that had been ordered or donated by businesses for the auction. A big thank you for all our members who donated items to be auctioned during the night. All donations make a big difference as it safeguards the treasury from putting cash out for the purchase of items for the auction. 

Start thinking about OSA’s 2001 orchid show. “Tentatively” it is scheduled for November 10th and 11th. This date should be confirmed before the next newsletter is published. We do, however, have the theme of the annual show. The show’s title will be “Orchids in Toyland.” This theme will give us a lot of possibilities for the decoration of the display area. Please start thinking about any toys you may have that can be used in our presentation. OSA is also going to be working with the annual toy drive “Toys for Tots” which is sponsored by the US Marine Corp. OSA will be donating many of the toys from our show display to the Toys for Tots toy drive at the conclusion of our show. This toy drive really benefits those children in the Phoenix area who are not as fortunate as most other children, and allow them to celebrate the holiday too.

January is the month all OSA membership renewals are due. Included in the December newsletter was the renewal application form, which should be filled out and returned to the Treasurer, Wilella Stimmell, at the January meeting. If you chose, you may also mail it to her. It is important to complete the form and return it with your payment for the 2001 membership dues to remain current and in good standings with OSA and continue receiving the Arizona Orchidist newsletter on a monthly basis. 

At the January meeting, we will be passing around a refreshment sign-up sheet for the 2001 meeting schedule. PLEASE take a moment and sign up for bringing beverages and/or edibles for one of the meetings throughout the year. There are only 10 months that are available as January has been taken care of, and December is always our “refreshment buffet” which is combined with our annual December Live Auction meeting. Your generosity is appreciated! 

I am maybe prematurely announcing our program for February, but I would like to give our members plenty of time to acquire the necessary items needed should you decide to participate in the hands-on program. We will be deflasking Vanda sanderiana seedlings and the seedlings will be available for adoption by our members. Should we have more members wishing to adopt a seedling than we have seedlings, we will simply draw numbers from a hat to determine who will be able to take one home. What you will need to bring from home, if you chose to participate, will be a reasonably tall plastic container. OSA will provide all the other items needed for the project. This will be a fun program and the seedlings look VERY healthy!

OSA has a great deal of activities planned for the coming year. I sincerely hope the Board can count on YOU for your support and assistance for these events. OSA only flourishes when the members do their fair share. The OSA Board of Directors have been very fortunate in having members who are WORKERS, and we hope we can continue to count on you during 2001! 

Happy Growing, 
Lou Ann 

January is the month that renewal membership dues are due! 

THE OSA LIBRARY IS OPEN EVERY REGULAR MEETING! So remember to check out that book, magazine, or video to answer your orchid questions. OSA 

by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator 

OSA begins a new year of community service on JANUARY 3rd, when we will present our "Orchid 101" program for members of the MANZANITAGARDEN CLUB, in Globe, AZ. MGC meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of the month, as are OSA's meetings. Because MGC club members REALLY wanted to hear our program, they changed their meeting day to accommodate our schedule. (They have patiently been "in line" for our program since May! We do appreciate their patience!) The program will begin at 2:00 PM in the Globe Public Library, 339 S. Broad St. We will need to leave Phoenix by 12:30 PM. The estimated traveling time to Globe is approximately 90 minutes. Any OSA member who is interested in traveling to Globe on January 3rd, is welcome to attend our program, either as a spectator or as an active presenter. Display plants are also always welcome, so if you have a few that you would like to lend, please phone me (480-947-8479).

We need a blooming plant for use as a doorprize, and if you have one that you are willing to donate for the program, let me know. From school classrooms and senior centers, we are proudly extending our helping hands! We are broadening our community service horizon by lending a helping hand during the EQUESTRIAN SPECIAL OLYMPICS, on Saturday, JANUARY 20, Western Saddle Club Arena, 12425 N. 7th St., Phoenix. The event begins at 9:00 AM. More details will be available at our January 4th meeting. 

For those of you who might not know, our new 2nd VP (Outside Speaker Program Chairwoman), Julie Rathbun, wears another (non-orchid) "hat", President of the Western Saddle Club. Thanks to Fred Rathbun for calling our attention to the Equestrian Special Olympics event. Those of us who plan to act as "spotters" for the children, will wear our OSA t-shirts and/or OSA name badges. 

Virtual Goodies 
The site: National Gardening Association 
The Address: 

An easy to navigate site diveded into the regions of the US. Has all kinds of interesting information. 

SCIENCE UPDATE: SEQUENCING OF ARABIDOPSIS thaliana GENOME IS COMPLETE! by Wilella Stimmell In the September, 2000 issue of "The Arizona Orchidist", I reported on the status of the sequencing of the A. thaliana genome. On August 14, the website of the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative revealed that the sequencing was 92.9% complete. In the December 14 issue (Vol. 408, #6814) of NATURE, an international weekly journal of science, published by Macmillan Publishers Ltd., England, the completion of the sequencing of the remaining three chromosomes of A. thaliana was announced. The genome sequence was completed four years ahead of schedule. Articles plus supporting data AND an A. thaliana slide show are available free from NATURE'S Genome Gateway, a portal to the latest in genome research, at The genome of A. thaliana contains a complete set of genes for controlling developmental patterns, metabolism, responses to environmental cues (such as stress), and disease resistance - invaluable information for understanding the evolution of flowering plants. Researchers can use this information to manipulate light, soil, and nutrients and study the effect of the manipulations on development, physiology, and seed production. Researchers have worked nearly 30 years on A. thaliana. The International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP) was launched just two years ago, and an optimistic projection for its completion is in the year 2004. (A copy of 4 of the 10 "weed" articles from the Dec. 14 issue of NATURE, will be available for viewing on the raffle ticket sales table at our January 4 meeting. Most pages were downloaded in PDF format. I "told" my printer to magnify the downloaded pages to 100% to print, but... A magnifying glass will be provided for easier reading.) 

Growing Paphs in Windowsills: A Full Circle but with New Perspective John T. Atwood, Senior Scientist for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens As of this writing, I can hear the rain beating against the skylights as it glazes our country roads with ice; weather which forecasters predict will turn to snow for the next three days-not a landscape most 24-year veterans to sunny Florida would look forward to. Returning to Vermont presents new challenges, not to mention relearning how to negotiate snow and ice. Still, the winter wonderland is apparent everywhere, and some days are even sunny! In this setting, orchidists really appreciate growing orchids! We are growing just three paphiopedilums as house plants. How do paphs respond to home conditions? The three paphs we have to start with are: Paphiopedilum Maudiae ‘The Queen’, P. venustum, and P. St. Swithin. I have seen Paphiopedilum Maudiae grown under normal fluorescent lights in Michigan with some success, therefore this hybrid seems a good choice. Paphiopedilum venustum forms a full circle for me having been my first orchid acquired in 1959 (different clone). The most interesting plant for this modest experiment is Paphiopedilum St. Swithin. Although a hybrid, both parents (P. rothschildianum and P. philippinense) thrive in the wild in bright and sometimes full sun. Can a coryopedilum paph thrive as a house plant? Potting materials for the P. Maudiae and P. venustum consist of locally collected live sphagnum, but I used limestone chat with about 5% compost for the P. St. Swithin. One of the notable differences I note in all three plants compared with growing in Florida is the turgidity of the leaves, which I attribute to water quality. Bending a leaf, especially of P. Maudiae, can easily result in breakage. I could never acquire such turgid leaves in Sarasota. All three plants are in active growth producing broader leaves. Specific results follow. Paphiopedilum Maudiae has a flower spanning a full 13.5 cm vertically supported on a scape 42 cm long including the ovary which I failed to stake. The plant has four new growths, and a fifth has appeared from the old rhizome. Paphiopedilum venustum responded to the heat of Sarasota with weak growths sporting dull leaves, but the recent growth is more robust with pronounced patterning on its waxy leaves. It has a single flower on a short scape. It has six new shoots developing, and time will determine if our growing conditions will repeat the success of years ago. The biggest surprise is the vigor of P. St. Swithin now sporting four buds. I would have expected at most two buds at this latitude. Is this light-lover producing one last gasp before expiring? The new growth with broadened leaves suggests a plant in perfect health. Perhaps there is basis for optimism from the habitats. In the wild both parents of P. St. Swithin are usually exposed to bright light during midday unlike their mottled leaved forest floor relatives. Is it possible that the drier home atmosphere is close to nature? What about light? Many of our days are overcast, yet windows are quite sunny on bright days, and there is supplemental light during the evening from an adjacent lamp. Maybe different aspects of our growing conditions mimic the natural habitat. The sun of a southerly window comes in at a low angle making rooms bright during midday. The maximum angle of the sun with the earth at our latitude is 23 degrees on December 21 compared with 40 degrees in Sarasota, Florida. Although the days are short, the sun hits the same window at sun-up as well as sundown. There may be another clue from the habitat. Paphiopedilum rothschildianum and P. philippinense usually grow on the sides of cliffs receiving light from an oblique angle, suggesting that the south window in our latitude may be optimal for these orchids. The only negative aspect of these plants as house plants is their sheer size, but perhaps a more compact clone of Paphiopedilum philippinense could be used as a parent. Orchid growing has come a long way since Veitch proclaimed, “Cypripedium philippinense has its home in one of the hottest regions of the world, growing in the blaze of a tropical sun and exposed to the force of the monsoon storms, climatic conditions that are simply impossible in the glass structures of Europe” (Manual of Orchidaceous Plants, part 4, 1889). What would Veitch think of growing its hybrid in a sunny window? Most orchidists would have difficulty restricting themselves to three plants, yet a limited and carefully selected collection allows for more detailed observation. If vigorous growth over the next year confirms my surprise with P. St. Swithin, I will encourage growing coryopedilum paphs as house plants! The Orchid Society of Arizona gratefully acknowledges the generous donations received from businesses for our December fund-raising auction. Several of the business owners annually donate items for our auction, and we thank them for their continued support of our community service agenda. Listed in alphabetical order, donations were received from: 

2810 S. 24th St. Suite 110 
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(phone: 602-220-9011) 

1367 Horsemill Road 
El Cajon, CA 92021 
(phone: 619-441-7503) 

P.O. Box 1004 
Cottonwood, AZ 86326 
(phone: 520-634-5016) 

1699 Sage Ave.
Los Osos, CA 93402 
(phone: 800-235-4139) 

P. O. Box 7042 
Chandler, AZ 85246 

P. O. Box 1682 
Buckley, WA 98321 

Whenever possible, please demonstrate your support of these businesses for their generous donations by making purchases from them. 


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