The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966 



The Arizona Orchidist
March 2000

     The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, March 2, 2000, at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona.  Phone: (602) 252-2120.  The meeting, open to all plant enthusiasts, will start at 7:00 PM.

Grower on Call for March is
Wilella Stimmell
(480) 947-8479

  March’s    Program
Dr. German Carneval will be speaking to us in March. He was born in Venezuela and now lives in Merida, Mexico. He is the curator of the herbarium, travels to do site explorations, and writes in his spare time. He will speak on the orchids of the Yucatan which should be interesting. 

In the current issue of The Orchid Digest (Jan., Feb.,Mar.) Natalie Warford, one of our members and talented artist, is featured in the Women in Orchids article.   The Digest will be in our library, so check it out!

>From the President’s Desk
Lou Ann Remeikis

Hopefully everyone in attendance had an opportunity to learn something at the February meeting.  Even though Valerie was the only one who had an orchid for mounting, those who participated in the demonstration saw how simple it is to do this.   With a few basic materials, orchids are easily mounted, and this style of cultivation is much more “natural” for orchids.  It DOES take more time on the part of the grower, as the watering schedule is  changed from once a week to almost daily.

Willie ran the “sick clinic”, and we had some   wonderful “patients”.  The orchids you brought in for a diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and prognosis were priceless!  In fact, they were all such good “sick plants” I had no choice but to award extra raffle tickets to those who brought their plants in.

Regular Info:       We had such a wonderful turnout at our last meeting, and I hope everyone enjoyed our freestyle meeting.  Some members wanted to watch the mounting demonstration, some wanted advice on their plants, some listened and learned what they can do for their “sick babies” they had left at home,  and everyone obviously enjoyed the Raffle Table and Silent Auction.  Wasn’t the Epidendrum (the HUGE plant) beautiful.  Bob MacLeod was the generous person who donated that wonderful orchid for the raffle table, and Peggy Stejskal was the lucky member who took it home!
In addition to Bob MacLeod making his donation to the Raffle Table, other members making generous donations  to the Raffle were Nelda Caldwell, Peggy Stejskal, Wilella Stimmell, the Society and myself.  A big thanks go to all who purchased raffle tickets, too.  You are just as important to the raffle as those of us who donate the items!

Also speaking of the raffle, is anyone planning on being in the Santa Barbara, CA, area during March 31st through April 2nd?  If so, you may want to buy some extra raffle tickets as there will be two tickets for admission to the  2000 Santa Barbara Orchid Show to be held that weekend at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.  I cannot attend this year, and the tickets will be available on the Raffle Table.

Welcome to our new members:  David Wehrli who joined in January; Joy MacLeod, Sandy French and Jennifer Busch who joined at our February meeting, and Lilly Moore who mailed in her membership form this month.  I look forward to getting to know all of you, and I hope you enjoy your new “orchid family”.  

I have to tell you a story that was told to me about Sandy French, one of our new members.  As luck would be, her first meeting ended with taking home a few orchids - one in particular being a vanda.  Sandy, who  is a delightfully optimistic gal, took her vanda home and sat up most of the night watching her vanda grow.  Sandy’s enthusiasm for orchids has obviously been born!
The Chinese Cultural Festival - Year of the Dragon - was a HUGE success.  I cannot thank everyone enough for coming out and working our tent at the event.  We all were able to visit with each other, talk to other individuals interested in our “beautiful orchids”, induldge in some wonderful oriental cuisine, and sells LOTS of orchids.  Our tent was located three spaces away from the stage and, although we did not have direct visual of the stage, we were able to observe many of the grand performances throughout the weekend.  Thank you to the following who generously shared their weekend helping us out:  Wilella Stimmell, Bob MacLeod, Julie Rathbun, Sarah Heberling, Norma Kafer, Ann Cherny, Joe Freasier, Wayne Baker, Karen Berger (& hubby Andrew), Peggy Stejskal, Jen Hall (& hubby Mike), Pete and Jane Heckel, Valerie Revke, and Kathleen Luther.  Whew!  I hope I didn’t forget anyone.   It was so VERY nice to have a full roster of volunteers for this event.  Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!!!

A sincere thank you goes to the generosity of Mr. K. C. Tang, President and the Coordinator of the Chinese Week.  Mr. Tang has been most gracious and helpful in allowing the Orchid Society of Arizona’s participation in the Phoenix Chinese Week Festival, and we look forward to working with him again next year.

Great news for Natalie!  We moved the volcano - OSA’s volcano.  We have Norma Kafer’s daughter, Aimie, to thank.  She has agreed to house the volcano until our Orchid show in November, should we decide to use it again.  We truly appreciate Natalie “storing” our volcanic creation for as long as she did, and appreciate Aimie stepping in to assist us when it needed a new home.

I mentioned this tidbit of information at the February meeting, but for those members who were unable to attend the meeting it is worthy of print.  THE QUARANTINE IS STILL IN EFFECT REGARDING PLANT MATERIALS (ORCHIDS) BROUGHT INTO ARIZONA FROM HAWAII AND FIVE COUNTIES IN FLORIDA.  This information was verified through Kathy Cameron of the Arizona Department of Agriculture.  If you order plants from any of these destinations, it is mandatory they have a phytosanitary certificate and have been chemically treated for brown citrus aphid - a threat to the Arizona citrus industry.  This is a sad statement - but true!
Wilella Stimmell, Norma Kafer and myself will have attended the Pacific Orchid Expo in San Francisco, CA, by the time this publication reaches you.  The Orchid Expo will be held February 25, 26, & 27th.  We will be joining Del Pace, a long-distance member of our society, who will be exhibiting at the show as a commercial grower.  The three of us, I should say the four of us as Norma’s husband, Jim, will be joining us, will be humping plants back from the Pacific Orchid Expo.  These plants will be placed on the Silent Auction at our March meeting.  There should be a spectacular selection for our members to bid on!

At this time, I want to set forth the guidelines for our Silent Auctions.  With all the new members we have, it is a good policy to publish the guidelines from time to time.  These guidelines will serve to maintain continuity and fairness to each member who wants to participate in the Silent Auction process.   

All plants will have a minimum bid written on a two-part ticket.
You may bid on the plant(s) of your choice by writing your name on the two-part ticket, followed by your bid of atleast $1.00 more than the previous bid.  Your name and bid should be written on the “WHITE” (top) portion of the ticket.

The President of the Society will announce when there are five (5) minutes left to complete the bidding.  This will generally be prior to the conclusion of our break for the evening.

At the completion of the bidding process, the doors to the Silent Auction are closed.  The “WHITE” (top) tickets are collected by a designated Board member and the “YELLOW” (bottom) portion of the ticket will remain with the plant.  All plants must remain in the Silent Auction room, along with the corresponding “YELLOW” (bottom) ticket until after the conclusion of the regular meeting.

Winning bids can be checked at the end of the regular meeting, at which time you may retrieve your plant(s), and take the “YELLOW” (bottom) portion of the ticket to the person acting as cashier, pay for your plant(s) and depart.
Note:  IF there is a discrepancy between the “WHITE” and “YELLOW” portion of the two-part ticket, the winning bid will be awarded to the person whose name is on the “WHITE” portion of the ticket.  This avoids write-ins after the bidding opportunity has been concluded.
I want to acknowledge Doug Baldwin for providing the information on the hobby greenhouse that is available through Costco.  Our membership appreciates information such as this.  If you happen to run across information or products that you think our members may be interested in, or would want to take advantage of, please do not hesitate to let us know at a meeting, submit a written paragraph or two to our Editor, Jen Hall, for inclusion in the newsletter, or tell me so I can make an announcement at one of the meetings.  I like to think of our “family” as one that shares valuable information to help each other in our orchid growing endeavors.
Gerda Gallob, our member from Sedona, also spoke of her Keiki Club’s activities at the February meeting.  She has found a source for graded lava rock, and offered to take orders.  Hopefully anyone who needed the rock contacted Gerda at the meeting, but if not I am sure she would not mind a phone call.  Gerda also spoke of an individual who is willing to take a group on an expedition in April or May (probably) to see some of the native Arizona orchids in bloom.  If anyone is interested in such a trip, please let me know and I can submit a list of interested members to Gerda.  I, for one, am very interested in seeing our native orchids!  

I look forward to seeing all our members at the March meeting - it should be a very interesting meeting with Dr. German Carnevali as our speaker.  Natalie Warford has again come through for OSA, by providing lodging and entertainment for Dr. Carnevali while he is in Arizona.  Thanks, Natalie!
I also anticipate a few extra guests at this meeting, due to our exposure at the Chinese Week Festival.  Please take a moment to introduce yourself to them and make them feel welcome!
Happy growing - Lou Ann 

by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator

On January 24, Ann Cherny, Shirley Engberg, Norma Kafer, Lou Ann Remeikis, and Mary, Ann, Andrew, and Jeff Shaffer, and I appeared at the Most Holy Trinity Elementary School, 535 E. Alice, Phoenix. This is the first time an ENTIRE OSA family of members has participated in one of our community service programs! Ann is a student in one of the two 4th grade classes for which we presented programs that day. She’s an excellent helper on our program team, and we wish she was available to help us more often. She knows how we assemble the milk jug greenhouses, and she circulated amongst her classmates and distributed the supplies we use to complete the assembly of the “greenhouses”.  Mother Mary brought a blooming plant for our display table, and she also served as our “still” photographer. Papa Jeff used a movie camera to film the proceedings. Andrew attends a different school, but on this afternoon he was a welcome member of our program team.

We presented our programs outdoors, so it was much easier to clean up our usual fir bark “mess”. After we had tidied the area, we were treated to homemade valentine cookies!

During one of the programs, a student surprised us when he inquired whether the orchid seedlings we were donating to his class, were LEGAL. Apparently the students had recently been warned by a speaker from the Arizona Fish and Wildlife Department that it is illegal to pick up a feather of an endangered bird. The student compared what we had said - that all native orchids are on the endangered list - with the warning he and his classmates had received about feathers of endangered birds. We assured the class that the seedlings were hybrids and that the “orchid police” would neither confiscate the seedlings nor punish the students.

On February 1, Lou Ann and I presented an evening program for the Outdoor Recreation Division, Gardening Section, at the Pyle Center, 655 E. Southern, in Tempe. This program was a departure from our school presentations and from those structured for Senior Centers. We repotted one of our orchids that was BADLY in need of attention, and one member of the audience brought a plant that we showed her how to repot. Several other members of the audience brought orchids, and we attempted to diagnose problems with their plants and recommended treatments.
On February 10, we presented a program for Weeders Garden Club which met that day at the home of one of the members who live at Sun Lakes. Upon hearing about our school programs, the ladies asked if we would accept a donation in support of our educational efforts! We gratefully accepted the donation and thanked the garden club, a sister member of the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs, for their contribution.
Children are more clever at a younger age than we were, when we were their age?

I recently received a telephone call from the mother of one of the Kindergarten students who attends Phoenix Christian Elementary School. Following our program on January 13 for the PCE students, the children took their seedlings home rather than leave them in their classroom. The mother’s very clever 5 year-old son had told her that he would “share” his orchid and let her take turns with him watering his orchid. He cautioned her that it was “very important not to let water stand in the crown of the plant”. In record time, the plant died! Her son’s response was, “You let water stand in the crown, didn’t you?” He neglected to tell her that he had spilled his plant onto the floor during our program and either he or a fellow classmate had possibly STEPPED ON the little seedling! The trauma to the seedling might have had more to do with its demise than his mother’s faulty watering of the plant. I assured the mother that all would be forgiven after we replace the seedling with a non-traumatized one. I decided it was best not to inform the mother of the spill incident, but...a 5 year-old “laying a guilt trip” on his mother? This boy probably has a future in politics! 
Scheduled programs for March:

On March 7, we will present two programs for first grade students at KHALSA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 2636 N. 3rd St., Phoenix. The students are anxiously anticipating our arrival at their school and have begun saving milk jugs.  A mother accompanying several of the Khalsa students, stopped by our booth at the Chinese Cultural Festival and introduced the students to us. The first program on March 7 will begin at 10 a.m. and the second will begin at 11 a.m.

On March 21, we will present a program for the BEATITUDES Campus of Care, 1616 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix. This program will feature repotting. Two groups will be participating: lodge residents and cottage residents. Karen Belzer, Activities Director for the cottage residents, is searching for an aquarium that will become the new home of the orchids we leave with the residents. WE NEED MEMBERS TO DONATE KEIKIS, ESTABLISHED DIVISIONS OF COMPACT AND/OR MINIATURE PLANTS OR...INEXPENSIVE PURCHASED PLANTS for this program. Many of our members demonstrate on a regular basis that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive, but for those who have yet to experience the joy of giving, this is your opportunity to DO something meaningful. We’re hoping to have 12 plants donated by OSA members for this program. If you will not be assisting in the program presentation at the Beatitudes, please BRING YOUR PLANT DONATIONS TO OUR MARCH 2 MEETING. The donated plants need not be in bloom, but they should be blooming size or near blooming size.

Coming Attractions: On April 28 and 29, our community service team will present programs in YUMA - at ALICE BYRNE SCHOOL and for a 4H group! More information regarding these programs will appear in our April newsletter. This will be our first overnight trip involving school programs.

    Selby Vignette-Displaying                           Dendrochilum Orchids

John T. Atwood, Director Orchid Identification Center 
Fifty years ago the word ‘orchid’ conjured visions of exotic flowers the size of dessert plates. Since 1950 the multitude illustrated publications have expanded the public’s view of orchids to include those with minute pinhead sized flowers, some despite names as large as Platystele jungermannioides. Many of these are grown in collections, but what can one do with these  diminutive-flowered gems? 

Although not usually pinhead sized, the modest flowers of Dendrochilum when produced in quantity are pleasingly arranged such that interest focuses on the entire inflorescence, not the individual flowers. Species that produce semi-erect stems with pendent inflorescences such as Dendrochilum cobbianum, D. filiforme, and D. magnum are especially striking when large (see the appended illustration of Dendrochilum (Platyclinis) filiforme from Williams and Williams Orchid Grower’s Manual). At Selby, Alex Vasiljev has placed four magnificent specimens in the crossing area of the Tropical Display House to remain on view for the next
month. These plants display well enough individually, but Alex has tiered the plants giving the effect of descending fountains. To create a pleasing whole greater than the sum of its parts takes an artistic eye, one acquired with experience. Alex often displays pots of daisy-chain (Bulbophyllum) orchids in similar fashion.

Other small flowering orchids can be effective in mass displays. Years ago Selby Gardens displayed a single clump of Spiranthes odorata with four perfectly vertical and parallel inflorescences of christaline white flowers
set among masses of cattleyas and vandas. Viewers noted with surprise the attractiveness of the species with its unique style among otherwise flamboyant orchids. As with the humble mustard seed, ‘small’ orchid flowers
need not signify inferior when considering the patterns formed by the many flowers taken together, and by well designed plant placement. 

Virtual Goodies
This month’s website comes to us from              Norma Kafer.

The site:
Brazilian Orchids

The Address:
Though this site specializes in Brazilian species it offers a lot of other information, including a history of orchids, orchids by state, a photo gallery, and a ton of other interesting information. Worth a look!

true anecdote
A student at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26, 1999.

He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict  control or total elimination of the chemical -dihydrogen monoxide.

He cited side effects of the chemical:
a) can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
b) is a major component in acid rain
c) can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
d) accidental inhalation of it can kill
e) it contributes to erosion
f) it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
g) it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer
Of the 50 people who were asked if they supported a ban  of the chemical, 43 said “yes”, 6 were undecided, and


Growing Tip: Now that our Phalaenopsis are all spiking care should be taken so they don’t lean way over the pot.  When the spike becomes about a foot tall a bamboo stake or wire should be inserted into the pot next to the spike and the spike secured in an upright position.  Staking the plant in this manner not only makes for a better-looking plant, it also helps keep the plant from becoming top-heavy.  (Arizona Orchidist, Feb. 1985).

As the weather gets warmer (then colder again...isn’t spring great!), I thought of this poem I ran across in one of the old copies of the Arizona Orchidist.  It was published in the January 1969 newsletter.  I hope you enjoy it.

My neighbor has some orchid plants 
Some ten or twelve I guess 
She tends them like she would a babe 
With care and tenderness
She worries with each speck she sees 
She thrills with each new lead 
And any bug that dares approach 
Is killed with utmost speed
But though she pampers them a lot 
With loving care, and such 
The plants are dying rapidly 
She waters them too much!!
Clarence S. Lindsten

>From the Editor
I would like to thank Gerda Gallob for bringing in her photo albums and letting me borrow them to scan.  Jim will be thrilled!  Some of the photos will be going onto to the website soon I’m sure.  We still could use more.... I know everyone has at least ONE picture of that “blasted plant that FINALLY bloomed!”.

Don’t forget.....any ideas for articles, articles, great websites, or something you would like to see in the newsletter, do not hesitate to let me know!!!!  This is your newsletter, help me bring you one you want to read.

Jennifer Hall

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