The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966 



May Program
Concepcion Boyd, co-owner of The Orchid Connection in San Diego, will present a slide program on Mexican orchid species.

Concepcion (Connie) and Jerry Boyd opened their orchid nursery in 1982 at Fortin de las Flores, Veracruz, Mexico.  In 1985 they established an orchid laboratory.  Connie readily acknowledges that much of her storehouse of knowledge on orchid germination was gleaned from studying Dr. Joseph Arditti’s books on orchid biology.

Connie was Vice President of the Botanical Garden Toxpan in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico, and supervised the construction of the garden.

In 1997, Connie and Jerry opened their nursery, The Orchid Connection, in San Diego.  They have been exhibitors and vendors at several international orchid shows, including the Japan Grand Prix in the Tokyo Dome.

Connie neglected to note in the biographical information she sent to us that she created and maintains The Orchid Connection’s website.  Check out their plant list at:

Our May 3rd meeting is Connie’s first speaking engagement in Phoenix.  Let’s give her a warm OSA welcome!

NOTE:  During our meeting, there will be a silent auction of orchids from The Orchid Connection.

21st Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Fair
It’s time to mark your calendars for our annual trip to Santa Barbara.  
Held on the grounds of the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, the Fair features 
growers from around the world.  The Fair is host to over 50 different vendors, 
with thousands of plants for sale.  We encourage all OSA members 
to participate in this annual event.  
So mark your calendars for Saturday, July 21st 
and look for more details to come!

From the President’s Desk

Lou Ann Remeikis

How observant are you?  In this newsletter publication, you should notice something different.  If you can’t figure out what has changed, I will tell you at the end of this writing.

I certainly hope everyone enjoyed Doug’s photography presentation as much as I did.   I had, in a past life, been married to a professional photographer and I was quite surprised that I remembered so much!  I do have to say I was very impressed with some of the simple and inexpensive accessories Doug brought that can improve photographic results by people like you and me.  I believe a lot of us will be using some of his suggestions the next time we try to capture the beauty of our blooming orchids on film!  Thank you, Doug, for taking the time to make the presentation and in doing such a great job in helping us understand the mechanics behind taking a good photo!

It was very nice to see so many of our members donate to the raffle table at last month’s meeting!   Donations REALLY assist in keeping expenses down for the Society, and assist with the accrual of funds to our treasury.  It is a win-win situation.  Keep the donations coming!  Remember, donations don’t always have to be plants.  There are a lot of other items members could use that are welcomed at the raffle table, too!

Good-bye to Jennifer Busch!  Jennifer is moving to Hawaii in May, lucky gal!  We will truly miss you and I hope you keep in touch with us.  Let us know what it’s like to grow orchids in paradise!

It has been recently revealed that OUR Webmaster, Jim Johnson, also developed the website for Bob Gordon, a good friend of OSA’s.   Jim does great work!  Check out Bob’s new website at  It’s a great resource for books written by Bob.

In accordance with meeting our 501 (c) (3) requirements, OSA has made a donation  of $1000 to the Orchid Identification Center in Sarasota, Florida.  This critically needed donation is earmarked for explicit use by the OIC and Dr. John Atwood for DNA studies of Panamanian maxillaries.  

Have you figured out what is different about this newsletter?  If not, this is the time to announce OSA’s new Editor – Ainsley LaCour.  Ainsley has volunteered to do her magic in putting together our newsletter beginning with this issue.  Let me welcome Ainsley to this “prestigious non-paying position” and thank her for contributing her talents in keeping OSA’s members informed of Society news.

I also want to express my thanks to Jennifer Hall for all the work she has done as Editor of The Arizona Orchidist over the last year and a half.  Jennifer has done an excellent job as our Editor and has added some great features to our newsletter that I am sure will be continued with Ainsley as Editor.  Jennifer, I am still counting on you for future OSA needs!!!

Be safe during the Memorial Day holiday, and Happy Growing…

Lou Ann Remeikis

Welcome to our new 
OSA members!

Patrick Ferrell
Maria Nieri
Ross and Silke Babcock

Our May OSA meeting is your last opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for the Butterfly Quilt!
Please support this worthy fundraiser project for the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs 
See Lou Ann Remeikis for tickets Drawing is June 3rd!  
($1 each or 6 for $5)

For your Information:  OSA member, Dr. John T. Atwood, Jr., has been nominated as Research Associate of Harvard University and has also been contracted to serve as Curator of Orchids for the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  These titles are in addition to John’s duties as Senior Scientist for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

John is one of the world-renowned scientists scheduled to speak at the May 23-26, 2nd Annual MesoAmerican Conference on Orchidology and Conservation in Costa Rica.

An accomplished church organist, John has officially signed on with two churches in Vermont, to present his Rain Forest Recitals.  He will donate his fees to preserve a critical corridor of forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica.  He said, “My scheme is to get as many churches involved as possible, then those doing the fund-raising can show donations from these churches and follow suit.  In talking to clergy, (I discovered) churches are poised to protect tropical forest, so perhaps I can be a catalyst.”
W. Stimmell

Thank you, Jennifer Busch, for the donation of soda 
to the Arizona Veteran’s Home

OSA 2001 Membership Rosters

New Membership rosters were distributed (one roster per household) at our April meeting.  A page insert containing corrections and additions to the roster will be available at our May 3rd meeting.  The page will be placed on our raffle ticket sales table.  If there are corrections to be made to the roster you received at the April meeting, send me an e-mail: <> or phone me at (480) 947-8479.  You could also fax any changes to me at (480) 947-0998.  
Please notify me of any corrections before April 23rd.

W. Stimmell

Thank you for your donations 
to the April raffle table

Mary Alice Baumberger, Joe Freasier, Alan Ladd, Rosemary Lort, Lou Ann Remeikis, Judy and Ken Vincent, Ainsley and Bryan LaCour, Wilella Stimmell, 
D&D Flowers (Dennis Olivas), Siam Orchids (Sam Promarag), and OSA

Community Service Report           
by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator

On March 20, NORMA KAFER, GARY KOOISTRA, JAY MUNN, and I presented our hands-on orchid program for Kindergarten students at Spirit of Hope Montessori School, 14403 N. 7th St., Peoria.  The children were well-mannered and very quiet compared to same-age children we have encountered at other schools.  The small class size, the large classroom, and the presence of two teachers were probably factors which contributed to the tranquility that prevailed during the program.  This was one of those rare occasions when the number of OSA program team members was sufficient to work one-on-one with each student.

Programs scheduled for MAY:
1)  On Friday, May 11, we will present 3 orchid programs for 70 students at WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 8033 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix.  These are the first programs we have been asked to present for classes of English Second Language students.  Lee Kaplan, 2nd grade teacher at Washington Elementary, reports that many of her students came to the US from Croatia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, and they are thankful for any special attention they receive.  Our first program is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. (2nd grade); the second program begins at 10:40 (3rd-6th grade); and the last program begins at 12:30 p.m. (1st grade).
2) Meline Iglesias, Program Manager of the Asian and Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program, VA MEDICAL CENTER, 650 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, requested OSA’s participation in the May 17 ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER CELEBRATION at the VAMC.  From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., we will have a display of blooming plants on the first floor of the hospital, and at 11 a.m., we will present a hands-on program in the Conference Room.  Since  embarking on our Community Service Agenda in 1995, this will be the first time we will be working with the VA in Phoenix.  Meline stated that she hopes we will continue to provide assistance.


Friday, May 11:
Hands-on Orchid Program
Washington Elementary School
8033 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix
9:35 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 17:
Asian and Pacific Islander 
VA Medical Center
650 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.


Blooming display plants for:  
May 11 hands-on orchid program 
May 17 Asian and Pacific Islander Celebration

We also need to replenish our lava rock supply, (used in the bottom of the milk jug greenhouses)!!  The last time we stocked up on lava rocks, Shirley Engberg’s husband, John, (a non-member who volunteered to lend a hand), wielded a shovel and filled as many buckets of rocks as my vehicle would hold!

Propagation of Restrepiella ophiocephala
Several months ago, Willie brought in a plant of Restrepiella ophiocephala.  A recent import, the plant presented both old growths from its years in the wild, as well as several more from growing in cultivation.  Along with a number of flowers, the plant also held a little treasure– a small seed capsule, about the size of an almond.  Willie noted that the plant had arrived with it, and was kind enough to save it and notify me when it had split.
The genus Restrepiella was proposed in 1966, splitting its members off from Pleurothallis.  A few species have been added and subtracted over the years, and the genus is now monotypic– this is to say, one species in the entire genus, Restrepiella ophiocephala.  Known from tropical lowland forests from Mexico to Costa Rica, I do not have any record of this species having been propagated. (i.e., grown from seed), but these things are always tough to determine.  Some lab in Guatemala might have germinated it years ago, but based on what we know, thanks to the seeds provided by Willie, we are pleased to announce that we have successfully propagated this species for the first time.  
Late in March, the seeds germinated, and are growing well in the lab.
It’s wonderful to get unusual species in the lab, and even better when genetic material from a wild-pollinated capsule proves viable.  Thanks, Willie!  Other growers are encouraged to help propagate species orchids.  Feel free to ask me how.

Aaron J. Hicks
The Orchid Seedbank
Chandler, Arizona

Photo Tips

For all of the amateur OSA photographers that were inspired by our April program, here are some additional tips from photographer Greg Allikas.

You can't take beautiful photos of mediocre flowers. Look at the blooms, select only fully opened, flawless flowers. 

Tie distracting elements out of the picture, using masking tape or twist tie. Remove stakes or cut them short enough that they're out of the picture area. 

Lighting is a main ingredient of all good photography. Look for either window light of good quality, bright open shade such as the shady side of a building, or modified flash. Avoid dense shade, such as under a tree. 

Try modifying the light output by diffusion. A white handkerchief used to cover the flash lens with a rubberband can substantially improve light quality. A piece of white foamcore can be easily fashioned into a bounce reflector, or you can buy one ready-made. Even a white file card and rubber band can be used for bounce flash. 

If shooting outdoors, find a sheltered location, out of wind, to avoid flower movement. 

Use a plain background of neutral color (poster board or mat board is good). Muted earth tones set off the flowers well without being distracting. Try colors like charcoal, olive green, brown, dull blue and of course, black. If using flash, place background at least 2 ft. behind flowers to avoid shadows. 

If you have designs on producing studio-quality flower pictures but can't quite justify the cost of studio lights, there's a great way to do it using a couple of card tables and a white bed sheet. 

If using auto-exposure and you have the choice; select aperature priority and use a small f.-stop (aperture setting) for maximum depth of field. The larger the f. number, the smaller the aperture. Keep in mind that as you decrease the aperture you will increase the exposure time. Unless you have very steady hands always use a tripod for exposures longer than 125th sec. If your camera has a self-timer, use it to fire the shutter when using a tripod to avoid shake. 

If using an auto focus camera, visually check focus before shooting and correct if necessary. 

When shooting color print film keep in mind that the lab technicians don't know what color your orchids are. It often helps to include a familiar object in the first frame of a sequence of pictures shot under the same boxes work well. 

Close-up lenses are an inexpensive way to focus closer. They come in various strengths, +1 to +4 and screw into a lens just like a filter does. 

Everybody loves a black background for flower pictures...well almost everybody. It’s a great way to make a background for isolating a single flower.

Visit for additional photo tips as well as beautiful orchid photographs and fun regular features.

May/June Orchid Checklist
? Cattleya The last of the spring-flowering types — those that flower from a ripened hard pseudobulb — will be finishing, while the first summer-blooming types will be showing buds on their rapidly growing, soft pseudobulbs. Both may need potting, as signaled by deteriorating mix, this month. The spring bloomers present no problems, as you will be dealing with fully ripe, well-hardened pseudobulbs. They will be ready to root on the mature front pseudobulb and will establish quickly. The summer bloomers, will be brittle and may be in bud. Nonetheless, experienced growers know that unless potted now, they may not root later, as this type tends to be seasonal in its rooting behavior. Stake the lead growth to avoid breakage. 
May can still present some changing light conditions that can lead to burning of the foliage if the plants have not been properly acclimatized. Allow them to build up their tolerance to higher light gradually. Changing light and temperatures can also be the source of some frustration when trying to determine when plants need watering. While cattleyas will be entering into a period of rapid growth starting this month, they have still not built up sufficient momentum to be significantly slowed by your missing a day or two of watering owing to dark weather. As always, it is safer to err on the dry side than on the wet. It is important, though, especially to the summer bloomers. Too much shade will cause rapidly developing inflorescences to droop unattractively. 

? Paphiopedilum The Paphiopedilum Maudiae types will be well into their season now, so a careful eye should be used toward staking. Do not be too anxious to stake, however. Many of this type, if staked too soon, will develop nodding flowers that do not face the observer. It is better to allow the flowers to ripen naturally, then support the spike right below the ovary for best display. This is especially common in Paphiopedilum fairrieanum—derived hybrids. If you have to do something when you first see the emerging spikes, just put the stake in the pot next to the spiking growth. Not only will this help you, but you will be able to see where the spikes are, so you can continue to pay attention to their development. 
The multifloral types will be entering their most active growth phase, so lots of light, water and fertilizer are called for to mature their large growths. Many will be spiking in the next couple of months, so be on the lookout for the emerging inflorescences. These may benefit from earlier staking than most, as the inflorescences grow so quickly in some cases that they can be quite soft. Again, best support is right below the ovary of the first flower. This will allow the most natural presentation of the blooms. 

? Phalaenopsis Except for the latest—spiking plants, all phalaenopsis should be ready for potting or already potted. Because phalaenopsis are tropical plants, they tend to be seasonal in their rooting behavior. The critical point for potting is when new roots emerge from the base of the plant. This is absolutely the best time to repot a phalaenopsis. The summer-flowering types, based on Doritis background, have ideally already been potted and are becoming freshly established, ready to support their soon-to-emerge spikes for the summer season. 
Phalaenopsis potted at the right point in their growth cycle will reestablish almost immediately, with fresh roots growing into the new medium nearly uninterrupted. As soon as the flush of new root growth is seen, begin regular watering and fertilizing to make maximum use of the major growing season. Do not get over-exuberant with your watering, though, allowing water to splash between plants. This can be a source of infection for both water-borne pathogens and viral contamination. Phalaenopsis are much more susceptible to virus than was previously thought. Take extra care to keep your collection free of bacterial and viral problems, which you can accomplish by maintaining a clean growing area. 

 Prepared by Ned Nash, AOS Director of Conservation
       Reprinted from AOS website,


Q.  Rooting Orchids
What is the best way to re-root orchids that have lost their roots for one reason or another?  Specifically I’d like to know about re-rooting phals and plants in the Cattleya Alliance.
-Mary Lou Hoskins, Hampden, Maine

Traditional wisdom dictates that plants can be encouraged to root by providing a moist atmosphere while keeping the medium on the dry side.  This enables the plant to remain turgid (not wilted) until the roots naturally come to support the foliage.  In practice, this can be done by repotting the plants into the smallest container that will accept the root mass and encasing the entire product in a plastic bag.  The bag can be supported off the foliage by making a wire loop and inserting the ends of the wire into the pot.  The plant should be watered into the medium, covered with the bag and left in a shady spot until root growth is evident.  Depending on the season, this may take days or weeks.  As days shorten after late September until January, it will take longer than in spring and summer as days lengthen.
-Ned Nash
Orchids– The Magazine of the American Orchid Society,
 Q&A February 1999 

Q.  Meristemming Monopodials
Can a monopodial (vandaceous) orchid be meristemmed?  If so, does it destroy the main lead?  How do they perform the process for a prized or awarded vanda or renanthera with only one main stem?
-Randy Peterson, Mountain View, California

Monopodial orchids are more difficult to meristem than sympodial ones and your chances of success are limited.  You are correct that you would need the actively growing apical bud and, in most cases using vanda or renanthera, there is only one.  If you remove the bud, there will be no new growth from the area.  However, vigorously growing vandas and renantheras will often produce one or more keikis on the lower part of the stem.  In six months or so, the keikis are usually large enough to remove and pot up.  This is no different from taking an old, tall vanda and cutting the top 18 to 24 inches and potting it up.  The remaining basal portion if left undisturbed in the original container will often produce keikis.  This is an important way of propagating important cultivars.
-Tom Sheehan, PhD.
Gainesville, Florida
Orchids– The Magazine of the American Orchid Society,
Q&A May 2000

Q.  Keikis or Flowers
I grow orchids, mostly phalaenopsis, under lights and regulate day length and temperature to ensure reasonable success with growth and flowering.  I have been attempting to propagate some of my plants using KeikiGrow, but have been getting branches with flowers rather than keikis.  Can you help?
-Bruce Guenther, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

About 20 years ago, we did an experiment at Armacost & Royston where we tried the active ingredient of KeikiGrow in lanolin to induce branching of flower spikes.  In other words, we tried to get the same results you are having.  As I recall, we were more successful getting the spikes to branch under shorter-day conditions, where longer days (the plants are actually responding to night length) tended to favor keiki production.  Perhaps if you try giving the plants a few (two to four) additional hours of light, it may induce keikis.
-Ned Nash
Orchids– The Magazine of the American Orchid Society,
Q&A May 1999

Editor’s Notes
I have survived my first newsletter!  I hope everyone enjoys it.  After perusing the past OSA newsletters for inspiration, I realized that I have big shoes to fill in the editing department.  The first newsletter was published in July & August of 1967,  a month before I was born!  It looks like I have a lot of reading to do.  Unlike Clarence Lindsten, I will not be entertaining you with my poetry, (you are lucky!).  However, I do look forward to keeping you informed, educated, and inspired to volunteer in our community.  I look forward to hearing your ideas and comments.
Ainsley LaCour

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