The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966





Growers with Internet access are encouraged to use the Questions and Answers link on OSA’s web site. The URL for our web site is:


NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING: The next scheduled Board Meeting will be Sunday, January 3rd @ 1:00 PM at the home of Catherine Nelson, 7024 N. 28th Drive in Phoenix. 864-6919

Directions from the intersection of Glendale Ave. and the I17 Freeway - Travel west on Glendale Ave. past the I17 Freeway. Turn north (right) on 28th Drive, which is the gated entrance of Golden Keys Central. At the electronic key pad enter 092 (which will automatically call the house) and I will let you in. My home is located on the 2nd cul de sac, along the west (left) side of 28th Drive, after entering into the complex. Parking is available around the park area which is just straight ahead of the entrance. [Reference map on page 8 — ed]


NEXT OSA SOCIETY MEETING: The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, January 7th , held at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona, (phone 252-2120). The meeting, open to all plant enthusiasts, will start at 7:00 p.m.


Refreshments will be provided by: Janet Jurn, Joe Freasier, Wayne Baker, and Sally Graff




I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I also want to thank everyone who participated in, and prospered by winning bids on the vast inventory we had at our December’s holiday auction. It was a very late night for all of us, however all who were in attendance enjoyed themselves immensely and took home some great plants and orchid related items. Now that 1999 has officially begun, and our membership has grown, this is the time to review some of the basics of orchid culture. The focus at the January meeting will be on the four basics; temperature, light, water, and air circulation. We will be discussing the differences between cool, intermediate, and warm growers and speaking a bit about diurnal temperature. We will touch base on fertilization of our plants, their resting requirements, water quality, etc. We will have available the microscope to check for pests, and the water meter to test for the hardness of your water. BRING SUSPECT PLANTS (OR LEAVES) AND WATER SAMPLE FOR INSPECTION/ANALYSIS. I would like to make this a interactive “workshop” of sorts, filled with questions and answers, little demonstrations, and a “clearing house” for thoughts on how we can improve on what orchid growing skills we have. I know this will be of benefit to our new growers. Those of us who have grown orchids for awhile – it is our opportunity to encourage and be a positive influence to our newer members. We all started out with little knowledge of orchid care

once upon a time! Reviewing basics of orchid care on an annual basis helps me to remember that it is not difficult to take care of these mysterious plants. By following simple rules, and making minor adjustments to fit your growing environment, you and I can successfully enjoy the beauty of the orchid. Plan on attending January’s meeting (01/07/99) and come prepared with questions you may have, samples of water or plants you want inspected, or bring your wealth of knowledge to help with the presentation. At the meeting, I would like you to take a minute and speak with me about presentations YOU would like to see at our meetings. Speakers we obtain have their own expertise and prepared material when they arrive; however our “in-house” programs can be designed to the fit the needs and desires of our membership. To accomplish this, your input is important and necessary!

Lou Ann Remeikis 1st Vice President

P/S – Did anyone happen to find themselves in possession of an extra pair of florescent light tubes? It seems one of our members won a bid on a pair of florescent tubes, and


when she went to load her vehicle with the “winnings” from the night, the light tubes were missing. There was such confusion that evening, and I know everyone was trying to remember to collect everything they had brought AND bought, and may have accidentally grabbed a long box which held these light tubes. If you find you have them, please get them back to one of the Board Members and we can ensure they get to the rightful owner. Thank you! Lou Ann


[Regarding Card Program Referenced on page 6-ed]

<!This page was created May, 1997 by Sherry Leath for St. Jude's Ranch for Children, Boulder City, NV Last updated on August 6,

Born Again CardTM Recycling Program

Thirty years ago, Father Ward, wanting to show our donors his appreciation for making St. Jude's Ranch for Children possible and having no money to buy gifts, came up with the idea of turning the previous year's Christmas Cards into Christmas ornaments. Father and the children worked diligently at recycling the cards. The recipients were so delighted with their recycled cards that they asked Father and the children to recycle more cards, but, this time, the donors wanted to buy the cards. St. Jude's Born Again CardTM Recycling Program was born.

People from all over the world send us their used card fronts. The children precision trim the cards and glue them onto pre printed card backs which are then sold to the public through our newsletter, Gift Shop or by word of mouth. Each child is paid fifteen cents for each card that he or she makes. This money is divided between spending money, savings, and the Cottage Fund (for special group outings).

As part of St. Jude's commitment to break the vicious welfare cycle and to teach the children to learn to earn, we have expanded the recycling program to include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Easter and other special occasion cards, as well as all occasion greeting cards, postcards, Christmas ornaments or just about anything else you can think of that starts with a used greeting card front. Our most popular requests are for angel and teddy bear cards. Custom orders with special printing, fancy cards, gold trim, etc., are also available.

Please send your used card fronts that can be attractively trimmed to fit our 5"x7" card backs, and that do not have writing on the back of the card, to:St. Jude's Ranch for Children 100 St. Jude's Street Boulder City, NV 89005 1618

If you would like to purchase Born Again CardsTM, please send $6.50 per package of 10 (along with the type of cards you wish to purchase) to:St. Jude's Ranch for Children P.O. Box 60100 Boulder City, NV 89006 0100

Call 1 800 492 3562 to order your cards using your Master Card or Visa, or for special orders.

Thank you for helping the abused, abandoned and neglected youngsters at St. Jude's Ranch for Children. We do not depend upon funding from government entities. Without You, we could not exist.

Web Site





OSA's annual December major fund-raising auction featured items generously donated by the following businesses, listed in alphabetical order:


Baker Nursery

3141 N. 40th St.

Phoenix, Az.


Carter and Holmes Orchids

P.O. Box 668

629 Mendenhall Road

Newberry, SC


Donald Hahn

Natural History Books

P.O. Box 1004

Cottonwood, Az.


Gubler Orchids

P.O. Box 3100

Landers, Ca.


Lights, Etc.

4510 N. 16th St.

Phoenix, Az.


Stewart Orchids

3376 Foothill Rd.

Carpenteria, Ca.


By generously donating items for our December 3, 1998, auction, the owners of these businesses have demonstrated their support of our community service agenda. (The first four businesses on the list have previously donated items for our fund-raising auctions!)


In the true spirit of the holiday season, several non-OSA members who could not attend our auction, nonetheless donated plants. Thanks to Carole and Al Davis, and Rich and Sherri Sporski. Your donations were greatly appreciated!





January 4, at 10:30 a.m., OSA will present a program for the Desert Pointe Garden Club in Ahwatukee.



January 27, OSA will present THREE programs for 45 students at Fuller Elementary School, 1975 E. Cornell Dr., Tempe. The first program will begin at 9 a.m., and the last program will finish at 11:30 a.m. We are pleased to have been invited to participate in Imagination Celebration Day at Fuller School. OSA will furnish phalaenopsis seedlings and all potting supplies used during the programs, but we also need CLEAN, EMPTY MILK JUGS which we will fashion into mini-greenhouses. PLEASE BRING YOUR DONATIONS OF JUGS TO OUR JANUARY 7 MEETING!!


February 26, OSA will participate in the 2nd Annual Youth Gardening Conference, which is co-sponsored by: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteers, The Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona Community Action Association, Gardens for Humanity, Mendoza Elementary School, and others. Many of the members of our audience will be teachers who want to see how we present our programs in classrooms. Our workshops will be featured in the "Get Growing" track at The Farm Institute at South Mountain. In early February, when the number of registrants for the conference is known, we will be notified of the exact time-slots for our workshops on the 26th. We know at this point only that our three one-hour sessions will be scheduled between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Maricopa County Master Gardener and Conference Planner, Leslie Honaker, stated that our workshops will be a "fantastic" addition to the conference.


March 12, OSA will present a hands-on program for the Washington Garden Club at the Valley Garden Center, at 10 a.m.


If past is prologue, OSA members know that as soon as this schedule is printed, it will be outdated by new programs added to the schedule.


Any OSA member is welcome to make contact with other groups that might benefit from our free programs.



Simply ask the contact person for the group to telephone our Community Service Program Coordinator, Wilella Stimmell, at 947-8479. The sooner a program can be scheduled, the better. We limit our community service programs to two per month because these presentations are in addition to all our various other activities.


Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator.




Abbreviations on Plant Tags:


It is common practice for hybridizers to abbreviate generic names on plant tags. Standard abbreviations for all generic names are listed alphabetically in each volume of SANDER'S LIST OF ORCHID HYBRIDS, published by The Royal Horticultural Society. (The RHS is the International Registration Authority for Orchid Hybrids. ) Not being able to identify the genera involved in an abbreviated name, is not necessarily an indication that you are a "novice" grower. "Seasoned" orchid growers with many years of growing experience are often as mystified by an

abbreviation on a plant tag as is a novice grower. Test your knowledge of the plants in YOUR collection. Check the names on the plant tags. Do you know the meaning of the following abbreviations on plants that were either featured on our monthly display tables and/or sold by OSA

during 1998: (To get you started, the generic plant name of the first abbreviation and the parentage are given. The remaining abbreviations are identified elsewhere in this newsletter. No fair cheating!)


Bllra. = Beallara = Brassia x Cochlioda x Miltonia x Odontoglossum Odbrs.

Burr. Odcdm.

Dial. Odtna.

Low. Pot.

Mkra. Vuyl.

Mtssa. Wils.

Oda. Yam.


Assuming that you bought one of the above plants in bud or bloom because the color and/or form of the flowers appealed to you, then it would be reasonable to assume that you bought the plant in hopes that YOU could bring the plant into bloom during its next bloom cycle. If you don't know which genera were used in making the hybrid, it is unlikely that you will be able to provide the cultural

requirements of the plant are extremely lucky!


Improving on Mother Nature: The Use of Colchicine to Change Chromosome Distribution by Wilella Stimmell


Colchicine is a very poisonous alkaloid extracted from the bulb of Colchicum autumnale. Since about 1940, hybridizers have used colchicine to induce polyploidy (doubling of chromosomes). In general, the objectives in treating orchids (and other plants) with colchicine are to intensify color, to increase size of blooms and/or plants, to increase vigor of the plants, and to overcome sterility barriers.


Several newer OSA members observed that various cattleyas for sale at our November show and cattleyas purchased for our December auction had "fatter" leaves than they had previously noted. While the "fat" leaves are not necessarily proof that the plants had been treated with colchicine, the observation at least indicated that many of our growers might not be aware of the use by hybridizers of this chemical.


In 1947, the "hot topic" in several issues of the AMERICAN ORCHID SOCIETY BULLETIN, was the use of colchicine, which was then still considered "experimental". The first article to appear in Vol. 16 that year was "Colchicine, Who Knows?" (pages 82-83), written by Rodney Wilcox Jones, President of the American Orchid Society. A more detailed and scientific approach "The Use of Colchicine to Produce New Plant Varieties" was presented by H.M. Butterfield, specialist in Agricultural Extension. The results covered by Mr. Butterfield were part of the Co-operative Extension work at the University of California, College of Agriculture, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The third article devoted to the topic was "Some Effects of Colchicine on Orchids", written by Raymond MacLeod, University of Connecticut. His conclusions regarding the effects of the alkaloid on cattleya and laelia seedlings were: "With laelias the effect was immediate and larger blossoms were produced. The seed from these blossoms may produce some polyploid plants with blossoms similar to their parents as well as normal plants. The benefits of treating cattleya seedlings are many, not only does the maturing of the plant seem to be shortened, but various novel, and some not too novel mutations arise, and lastly increasing of the flower size may result in some of the plants."


Fast forward nearly 40 years. In December, 1985, the article "Polyploidy in Orchid Improvement" appeared in that issue of the AOS BULLETIN. The author, R.J. Griesbach, employed at the Florist & Nursery Crops Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, noted that "the most reliable method for producing polyploids is through chemical treatment". He further states: "The judicious use of polyploidy in breeding can result in substantial improvements in flower quality, and its use to break down sterility barriers enormously enhances the hybridization potential of orchids. Lines of breeding which were totally blocked by infertility now can be opened."


While it is true that colchicine has often been used to induce polyploidy, it is also true that some hybridizers use the term "tetraploid" and "4n" (terms most hobbyists associate with polyploidy) as a selling point for their plants. The ONLY PROOF that a plant is a polyploid is by a chromosome count. A vigorous plant that had been treated with colchicine, is not a polyploid because it "looks" like it is!







I am extremely honored to serve as OSA’s President for the 1999 calendar year. I have already received such an overwhelming amount of support and help from many of you, my OSA friends.


I am committed to the goals of OSA through continued community service programs and encouraging new friends, both youthful and mature, to become OSA members and experience the genuine satisfaction of growing orchids.


Your help, advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to call me at home (864 6919) or email me ( with any concern, comment or question. (My employer, Maricopa County Assessor’s Office, has requested that my incoming OSA emergency phone calls be kept to a minimum.)


THE CHRISTMAS MEETING AND AUCTION held on December 3rd proved to be the most successful and lucrative in OSA’s history! Our Orchid Event Buyer, Wilella Stimmell, did a fantastic job in acquiring so many different orchid species and hybrids from various growers specifically for our December Auction. Most of the plants were either in bloom or bud, which encouraged many of the bidders to up the ante in order to procure their favorites.


Special recognition is awarded to our plant sitters, Keith Mead, Norma Kafer and Pete & Jane Heckel for caring for the auction plants.


Our auctioneers, Joe Civello and Joe Freasier, did an excellent job in describing each plant and item, as it appeared on the auction block, in detail and with great humor. Their special skills will quickly gain them universal recognition as: Professional Orchid Auctioneers. (Special thanks to Joe Freasier, who had been ill with a bug just 2 days prior to the meeting.)


The Smorgasbord table was filled to capacity with many




different types of goodies . OSA members, have again, showed their culinary talents in providing the wonderful array of dishes, as well as keeping up the strength of many hungry orchid bidders.


We had 5 new members join at the meeting a total of 7 for the month of December (they will be introduced in the New Member Section).



OSA’s Recycled Card Coordinator for the St Jude’s Ranch for Abused Children will be Norma Kafer. A collection box and information sheet will be available at the January 7th meeting. (The website address is: . Please help continue this worthwhile project (which was started by our late, dear Bernice Ehrlich) by saving your old greeting card front covers (from any holiday or occasion) which will be collected and sent to St Jude periodically throughout the year. [Reference page 2 for detailed information on the card program — ed]



Our 1999 Librarian will be Kathleen Luther. Make it a goal for 1999 to check out an OSA Library book. Contact Kathleen prior to the meeting to reserve a book selection or visit the OSA Library during the next meeting to inspect the large resource library. (Consult your member packet for a list of titles and authors)



For the 5th year in a row, Janet Jurn has agreed to continue as our Refreshment Chairperson.


She has prepared a sign up sheet for the snacks and beverages during 1999 meetings. This list will be circulated at the meetings, until it is completely filled. I encourage everyone to take a turn in providing some type of refreshment or to test out a new goodie recipe on some willing OSA guinea pigs. If you are not able to attend the January 7th meeting, please contact Janet to reserve a space on the sign up sheet for the 1999 meetings.








A huge debt of gratitude goes to our number one bean counter/Treasurer, Keith Mead. He has saved OSA $1000’s in 1998 by personally running copies of OSA’s monthly newsletter (from April through December), as well as providing copies of culture sheets for distribution to the public at our various events.


He has also devoted a large chunk of his time in copying, collating, stapling, folding, labeling, stamping, and mailing the newsletters. Let’s all thank Keith for job well done!



This is a great way of informing all your OSA friends of a special event (a birthday, anniversary, engagement) or any other reason to celebrate. Inquiries on how you can sponsor a future OSA newsletter can be made by contacting Keith Mead or Ken Gettys.



Ann Cherny will be returning this year as hostess. She will also be in charge of the new member services.




February 12-14 - Chinese Week Cultural Festival Chinese Cultural Center , 668 N. 44th St., Phx.


March 13 - Spring Garden Fair, U of A Cooperative Extension , 4341 E. Broadway Rd., Phx.


March 28 - Valley Garden Center Spring Festival* 1809 N. 15th Ave., Phx. *(tentative)


April 2 & 3 - HomeBase, 9890 N. 90th St., Scottsdale


November 13 & 14 - ANNUAL ORCHID SHOW & SALE Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Ave., Phx.


Our meetings and events are now listed with other non profit organizations at This site has a link to our OSA web page which is superbly mastered by our own Jim Johnson. Visit both when you get a chance. Keith Mead