The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966




Grower on Call for April is Bev Tall, 816-4772.

NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING The next Board Meeting is on Sunday, March 28th, at 1:00 pm. It will be hosted by Keith Mead. Phone: 496-5762 Keith's address is 12054 S. Appaloosa, Phoenix, AZ (Ahwatukee). Take I-8 to Elliot. Go west on Elliot to Equestrian. West on Equestrian to Appaloosa. South on Appaloosa to Keith's house. As a favor to Keith, any regular members planning on attending, please let him know so appropriate seating and refreshments can be ready.

REMEMBER: Board meetings are always open to the full membership, so please know you are invited.

NEXT OSA SOCIETY MEETING The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, April 1, 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 7:00p.m.

ATTENTION! ATTENTION! If any plants are left from the Gardener's World Garden Party they will be brought to the April meeting for liquidation.


Yes, you read right! I have assumed the role of President of the Orchid Society of Arizona. It is our misfortune that Cathy Nelson resigned her post effective March 12th. As many of you are aware, Cathy's employment with the County Assessor's Office has been flooded with protests on property valuations. This has caused Cathy to make a difficult decision to resign in order to meet the needs of her job - lots of mandatory overtime. I respect her decision, as she felt she would not be able to devote enough time to our Presidential position, thereby creating a hardship for our Society. I wish to thank Cathy for all she has done in the few short months of her tenure. I hope once her life settles down a bit she will be able to participate in our activities - we still consider her a "worker." I know she loves OSA and I am also sure it was a hard decision for her to make!

With that said, I want all members to know I will do my best to keep OSA running smoothly. I also love this society and wish to see it do well. If I call on individuals to help, I hope I will have your cooperation. As many of you know, I work two jobs (that I get paid for) and many other things occupy my life. By the way, my second paying job is not as President of OSA. It will be necessary for me to delegate - something I'm not used to doing. OSA's Board Members are so good to "volunteer" for many of our projects but I am counting on YOU, as members, to also help as much as you can.There have been a few other changes I need to mention. The Editor of The Arizona Orchidist is now Nancy Burnett. Should anyone wish to contribute to our newsletter, please get the information to Nancy by the 15th of each month - the deadline to be included in the following month's newsletter. I wish to thank Ken Gettys for all of his efforts while serving as the Editor for the past year. Ken jumped in and volunteered to put it together for us and did a fine job. Nancy has now done the same, volunteering her wizardry to make all the contributions to the newsletter look good! Thank you both!

When news got out that I was the new President, I had three people volunteer to handle the raffle. Obviously I won't be able to do that any longer. I wish to thank Julie Rathbun, Jane Heckel, and Peggy Stejskal for stepping forward to help. I am delegating ALL of them to work with the raffle tickets just in case one of them can't attend a meeting. Thank you ladies!

Raffle donations for the March meeting were: Catherine Nelson, the family of Bernice Ehrlich, Willie Stimmell, Gerda Gallob, Joe Civello, and OSA. Please don't forget to contribute to the raffle table if you are able. We only have great raffle if there are items on the table!

On March 26th, Willie, Nelda Caldwell, and Candy Pelz will be attending the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs' West Central District meeting. They will be participating in the meeting and luncheon to follow. Willie - bless her heart - will be filling in for Cathy/me as I am unable to attend. Candy has volunteered to put together a table centerpiece - something that says "orchids." All of the garden clubs have been asked to furnish a centerpiece for the meeting/luncheon, and we are lucky to have someone with such talents!

I have been told that Gerda's group, The Keiki Club, met again this month. Their group has 10 members. During the meeting, they pollinated a vanilla flower! Gerda has a culture sheet on the vanilla orchid and has forwarded copies to OSA. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, they shall be available at the next meeting!

Coming in August is a field trip to the VAMC greenhouse (Veteran's Affair). We are inviting any and all of our members to join us in a caravan to Prescott to see the greenhouse. For those unaware, the greenhouse exists due to the efforts of former members of OSA. Our society has maintained a liaison with VAMC, providing them with orchids, supplies, and support. VAMC has always felt as if they have been adopted by OSA and we will continue to enrich the lives of those who live there. The residents really do love company and companionship, and we provide both with our visits to Prescott. Please mark it on your calendar for August 7th (a Saturday).

Did anyone see the article in the Tribune on Orchids and OSA? In addition to several quotes from our members, there were photos of Joe Freasier and Scott Emerson. The article appeared in the Saturday, March 13, edition of the Tribune. Cathy Nelson helped arrange for this article to be published, and our hats are off to her for the exposure!

Members are invited to attend the celebration of the development of the Heritage Rose Garden. This event will be held May 1, Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Maricopa County Extension Office, 4341 E. Broadway Road. This garden is dedicated to the preservation, culture and study of Heritage Roses - roses originating in the 19th century or earlier. The Heritage Rose Garden has 79 varieties of roses. It should also be noted that if you would like to see the Heritage Rose Garden and May 1 does not meet with your schedule, the Heritage Rose Garden is open to the public at all times. If you have further questions about this event, you may call John or Mary Rich, 380-6840, or Floyd Evans, 944-2198.

Also mark on your calendars to stop by Home Base at 9890 N. 90th Street, Scottsdale, on April 2 and 3. OSA will be providing culture sheets and conversation (education) about orchids to interested customers. We will not be selling plants, but will be there as a support group for the customers of Home Base who have purchased or will be purchasing orchids from them. We are always appreciative of whomever could help. Really, it is painless.

Again, I wish to thank everyone who has sent me their words of encouragement and stated their beliefs in my abilities to complete Cathy's Presidential term. I will try to live up to your expectations for the benefit of our society. I will work as hard as I can and, hopefully, can expect YOU to do the same!


Those members present at the March meeting met a very enthusiastic guest speaker, William Rhodehamel. Mr. Rhodehamel is the owner of Hoosier Orchids - a wonderful source of orchids (available via FedEx by the way). Mr. Rhodehamel spoke on warm growing species, which are appropriate for growing in Arizona. He also brought lots of plants for us to auction off via the silent bid process. I sure hope everyone managed to get a plant or two. He did bring some nice ones and was very knowledgeable when asked about a specific plant's color, growth habit, and culture.

Mr. Rhodehamel presented a beautiful slide presentation and narrated very interesting facts on the various orchids. One item I particularly found interesting was that he expanded the elements necessary to grow orchids from the traditional water, air, temperature and humidity. Mr. Rhodehamel indicated that the elements needed to create a growing climate for your orchids include nine items. They are: 1) the growing space; 2) light; 3) temperature control; 4) humidity AND air movement; 5) potting practice AND water supply; 6) nutrient supply; 7) hygiene AND problem (pests) control; 8) consistency of treatment; and 9) observation. This list is logically more correct and should one follow this growing strategy, it would make sense that your orchids could be very happy. Of course, remember what Mr. Rhodehamel said, don't change everything at once. Take an idea and integrate it into your routine. Make sure it works for you before adding another element. His recommendation of "consistency of treatment" and "observation" are, in my opinion, his best practices.

For those of you wishing to order a catalog (and orchids) from Mr. Rhodehamel's company, please correspond to: Hoosier Orchid Company, 8440 West 82nd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46278, or phone toll-free (888) 291-6269, e-mail: HYPERLINK Thank you, Norma Kafer, for obtaining him as a speaker. From what I heard from our members, everyone seemed to enjoy him!

Lou Ann Remeikis

Special thanks to Ron Norman for providing transportation for our March speaker, William Rhodehamel.



I received my B.S. in Zoology in 1969 from Miami University and an M.S. in Biology from Marshall University in 1972. I have been at the University of Arizona since 1975 as Associate Curator of the research collection, Assistant in Extension, and Lecturer. I have taught aquatic entomology, a beginning course for non-majors entitled Insects & Society and have co-taught with several faculty in various labs. I also work through the Extended University teaching a beginning course in Entomology.

My extension work includes handling the Insect Identification Laboratory, IPM Specialist for Pima County (and many others), running workshops for Master Gardener Programs in Arizona, providing the media (TV, radio and newspapers) with information about new bug problems and other related topics. I also work with the public schools, FFA, 4-H and many local organizations giving lectures. I have been involved with many segments of KUAT's program The Desert Speaks, most recently talking about the many positive sides of having spiders in an urban setting and dispelling the myths about these wonderful animals.

I have co-authored a book (1994) with my former colleague and mentor Floyd G. Werner entitled Learning About and Living with Insects of the Southwest published by Fisher books and available at most bookstores. It has received many favorable comments from people throughout Arizona and other states throughout the southwest. Also, I have authored or co-authored papers on many different insects in the southwest, from cockroaches to palm borer beetles, scorpions to stoneflies, insects in packrat middens to ticks & Lyme disease. I was a consultant for the Biosphere when it was an interesting, novel place to look at the big picture of Ecology.

I enjoy volleyball, bicycle riding, hiking and the Arizona sunsets in my backyard. My passion is changing people's attitudes towards insects, hoping they will someday realize that without this microfauna, the rest of the world will not exist.

Carl A. Olson, Associate Curator, Dept. of Entomology,, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 FAX (520) 621-1150 Office (520) 621-5925 e-mail:


Willie, Keith, Jim, and Norma traveled to the San Francisco Orchid Expo the last weekend in February. This is a chronicle of their journey.

The weather forecast predicted rain, but all that happened was a hair curling drizzle. We arrived in SF just before noon on Saturday. We met in the lobby of the hotel and walked over to the show. Willie distributed vendor badges that Del Pace had thoughtfully left. Willie and Keith were Del's helpers and Jim and Norma were Dennis Olivas's (remember his presentation last year?).

We were like kids in a candy store. Keith was a steady and careful buyer. He'd scope out a plant, go back and look at it many times before he bought it. He had on his shopping list a "small pink orchid" for his daughter, Kaitlyn. Many times we'd hold up a small pink orchid asking "Is this it?" only for Keith to shake his head. Jim was a totally impulsive buyer (vendors loved him). He saw a couple of vandas and bought without thinking how they would get home. They were LARGE. Willie kept her nose to the ground sniffing out bargains or half-off sales. She was so well known for her bargaining ability that vendors reduced their prices immediately when she walked into their booth. One just shook his head and lowered his prices. Another said, "Just take what you want." Willie, of course, was in her element.

We scooped up the plants that were resting at the "plant hotel" (we really needed a cart) and waited for our ride back to the real hotel. And we waited and we waited. Keith was holding a box of plants like a waiter in one hand and in his other hand he had a bunch of vandas. Norma had vandas and another box. And we waited. Willie had more plants. We finally hitched a ride with Dennis, our plants and persons folded up on the floor in the back of his van.

At the hotel we met Del and all went out to dinner with Dennis, our host for the evening. We went to a small Chinese place where our first dish was fried shrimp, then soup, then other dishes came to our table with great regularity. So many that nobody could remember them all. Del loved the sweet chicken dish, Jim liked the Mongolian beef, Norma liked the noodles, Celine, an associate of Dennis, liked the veggie platter. During this Jim asked if Willie might not be feeling well as she was unusually quiet. She quickly got her second wind after eating and was in her best form again.

Sunday we went to Mel's diner for breakfast and took the scenic walk to the show. Sales and people were slow when we got there, but after a while it picked up to a frenzied pitch the closer it got to closing time. Word spread like wild fire of a 50% off box. Willie was swallowed into the crowd, then Keith disappeared. Norma kept to the safety of Del's booth. Keith and Willie reappeared with boxes of plants and smiles on their faces.

Sunday night after dinner, Del supervised the packing of the coffin boxes that Norma had shamelessly begged from Siam Sam the vanda man. Willie had brought packing material, so we thought we were in pretty good shape. We put the big vandas in the box with lots of shredded paper, more plants, more packing material, more plants... Willie asked if anyone wanted a vanda sandwich to accompany the wine. We closed the last suitcase, Keith taped the last box, and we struggled back to our rooms wondering what the maid would think with all the shredded bits of paper on the floor.

We all arrived back in Phoenix safely with plants for the Gardener's World Garden Party. Mission accomplished!

Big thanks go to OSA members Del Pace and Dennis Olivas for their assistance. Among the many kindnesses they extended to the "plant hunters from Arizona," Del also served as our plant-packing advisor, and Dennis treated us to the finest Chinese meal we've ever eaten.

Norma Kafer

Special thanks to the following growers for giving OSA significant price reductions on plants for sale at Gardener's World Garden Party

Bill Bergstrom, John Oka


by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator

On February 26, OSA participated in the Second Youth Gardening Conference - "Get Growing" Track - which was held at The Farm Institute at South Mountain, in Phoenix. Ann Cherny, Jane Heckel, Norma Kafer, Julie Rathbun, Lou Remeikis, and I presented four programs for 70 educators who had come to the conference to learn some tips on how to inspire children to WANT to grow plants. It was very simple to slightly alter the programs we usually present for school children. As we do in our school programs, we began each "rotation" (program) with brief comments about the beautiful, blooming display plants that we had placed on a table. When we began assisting the "students" with the repotting of their phal seedlings, a funny thing happened! They had every bit as much fun working with the plants as children have! They readily saw how much their students would enjoy such a hands-on program. Our programs are designed to stimulate an interest in growing orchids, but the mini-greenhouses we fashion out of empty milk or water jugs can be utilized for any other newly repotted seedlings. The use of recycled items appealed to the educators.

After our program presentations, we received the following e-mail message from Leslie Honaker, Conference Coordinator: "THANK YOU! I know people were thrilled at what you offered, and I know some of your 'kernels' of knowledge will be passed on to other schools." ( Participants from Califomia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona attended our programs. One teacher from the Yuma area said that she couldn't wait to get home and contact the Plant Inspection Station. She said she knew that artificial lights are routinely confiscated at the station and that they would be "perfect" to use in her classroom. We gave her a culture sheet on how to grow plants under artificial lights.)

When we bring blooming orchids to schools, it is often the first time students have ever seen orchids. However, many students have no doubt heard about the destruction of rain forests and the need for conservation. It seems logical that conservation and preservation will never be of REAL concern to anyone unless he/she has had some meaningful contact with something that is (or used to be) found in rain forests. Our school programs are designed not only to bring joy and attention to the students, but also to connect in the minds of the students, their personal experience with potting a seedling, the memory of beautiful blooming plants, and the subjects of conservation and preservation.

On March 9, we presented three programs at Morristown Elementary School, in Morristown, for the entire student body of 97 students - pre-school through 8th grades. Nancy Burnett, Norma Kafer, Keith Mead, Julie Rathbun, Lou Remeikis, Peggy Stejskal, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the enthusiastic students. We worked with the children in the school's cafeteria, where there was a handy water supply. After the first group returned to their classrooms with their freshly repotted seedlings and greenhouses in hand, the lead teacher stood outside the cafeteria and rang a brass hand bell to signal the beginning of the next period. At the sound of the bell, the second group of children RACED with their empty milk jugs in hand, to the cafeteria. In this group of students there was a familiar face! It was OSA member, Niki Hamilton, who proudly wore her OSA name badge and smiled from ear to ear. Niki and her classmates had made a banner for us:

"Thank You Orchid Society of Arizona, Inc. For Coming to Our School!"

She and all her classmates had signed their names in the margins. One of the boys in this group of students asked us if he could keep his orchid "forever." He couldn't believe that the orchid he repotted was his to keep and care for! All the students were genuinely enthusiastic throughout the programs, whether they were sniffing our fragrant display plants or repotting their very own seedlings. Because we had seven members assisting in the programs, we could give the students individualized attention. Each teacher at the school was presented with a phal culture book (courtesy of Bob Gordon!) for his/her classroom.

Following our programs at Morristown School, we received the following e-mail message from Lucy Thompson, lead teacher: "Greetings from Morristown School! The students really enjoyed learning about and becoming caretakers of orchids We are detecting a lot of green-thumb enthusiasm on campus! The whole orchid experience is sure to be a memorable one for each child. I certainly appreciate the energy and generosity of the members of OSA. Thanks again! "

On March 12, Norma Kafer and I presented a program for the Washington Garden Club monthly meeting which was held at the Valley Garden Center. Our display plants were greatly admired! In fact, the ladies were so impressed at the sight of Norma's Dendrobium Spring Dream 'Apollon' that they passed around the plant tag and wrote down the name. The blooming doorprize plant was a paphiopedilum donated by Phillip Liu. Thank you, Phillip! At the conclusion of the program, we were presented with a small token of WGC's appreciation. Since we do not accept gratuities, this item will be placed on our April raffle table. (Washington Garden Club also works with school children. They furnish "Grow Labs" for various schools in the Phoenix metro area.)

New Addition to OSA's Community Service Schedule: On May 18, we will present a program at Squaw Peak School, 4601 N. 34th St., Phoenix. There will be 28 first and second grade students participating in the program which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

(During our programs at the Youth Gardening Conference, we mentioned that we had ONE date left for a program - in May - before the end of the school year We also said that we operate on a "first come, first serve" basis. The teacher from Squaw Peak School obviously made a mental note of that.)

Our next community service program is scheduled for April 6 for the Hassayampa 4-H group that meets at the Wickenburg High School Library. This is our first evening program (7:30 p.m.), and there will be 35 children with empty milk jugs in hand eager to repot orchid seedlings. Any OSA member is welcome to participate in this and/or any of our "outreach" programs.

(A report on the program for the 4-H group and the program for the John C Lincoln Adult Day Care Center on April 13, will appear in our May newsletter.)

1999 Fall Show and Orchid Sale

At the January Board Meeting some discussion was had and decisions made regarding the 1999 Fall Orchid Show and Sale. Peggy Stejskal and Keith Mead agreed to be the co-chairpersons. I volunteered to do the PR and advertising, and Candy Pelz was unanimously elected (in abstentia) to be the Art Director.

A southwestern theme was agreed upon, but it took 2-1/2 months to come up with a title. This year's show will forever be known as Southwest Orchid Sunset. The dates of the show are November 13 and 14 with November 12 as the setup date.

The first planning meeting was held on March 14 at Peggy's house (Thank you Peggy!) and the following members attended: Willie Stimmell, Keith Mead, Candy Pelz, Jane Heckel, Norma Kafer, Gail Jessell, Ralph Tanner, Peggy Stejskal, Bob McCleod, Lou Ann Remeikis, and myself, Nancy Burnett.

Candy Pelz once again came up with some great vignettes for displaying the orchids. Of these she will select 4 or 5 as the vignettes to be erected for the show. She is going to make a list of items and materials needed to construct them (so don't throw out anything southwestern until you see the list). After much discussion about flyers, I agreed to design 3 or 4 and let the group decide which one(s) to use.

The next Fall Show planning meeting will be May 23 at Peggy's house. As with the Board meetings, you're invited to attend.

Nancy Burnett

Overheard at the Planning Meeting: "I wanted to shred some fir bark to get smaller pieces and I used my Cuisonart. It didn't work too well!"

UPCOMING EVENTS APRIL 1 - OSA Meeting, 7 pm 2&3- Home Base 9890 N. 90th Street, Scottsdale 6 - Hassayampa 4-H, 7:30 pm Wickenburg High School Library 13 - John C. Lincoln Adult Day Care Center, 10:30 am 303 E. Eva (just North of Dunlap) MAY 1 - Heritage Rose Garden, 10am-3pm 4341 E. Broadway 2 - OSA Board Meeting 4 - Prince of Peace School, 1 pm 3641 N. 56th Street 6 - OSA Meeting, 7 pm 18 - Squaw Peak School, 12:30 pm 4601 N. 34th Street 23 - Fall Show Planning Meeting and OSA Board Meeting