The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966 



The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter may 1999

The Board Meeting for the May general meeting was held on April 18 (a week earlier than it would normally be held) since some of the Board Members are attending the World Orchid Conference in Vancouver.

The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, May 6, 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 7:00 p.m.

Refreshments will be provided by:  Peggy Stejskal (beverage), Bob MacLeod and Carrie O'Brien
(edible items).  Thank you Refreshment Committee.

Grower on Call for May is Ron Norman, 520-299-8521

Relocated Orchids Report

Deacon Bell reports from Santa Fe that his orchids continue to thrive and are "happy" in their indoor-greenhouse environment Suz Cramer reports from Telluride: "The 'little guys' that live in my bathroom/shower are doing well in spite of a couple months of semi-neglect.  My phals seem to have adjusted to the extreme dryness and some are on their second bloom cycle.  The 'window-sill' catt crosses are mostly flourishing and the other, more picky catts are a little more cranky, but surviving."

Both growers relocated their orchids from Phoenix, and their reports offer encouraging words about the adaptability of orchids.
Willella Stimmel

Look for an interview of Willella Stimmel in the July issue of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine!

May Birthdays
Fred Stimmell   1st
Wilbur Chang    12th
Scott Emerson   31st

Lou Ann Remeikis

I made it through my first month as President!!!  What a month it has been.  I am still trying to get organized; however, it will have to be put on hold until after the 16th World Orchid Conference.  Hopefully once I return from Vancouver, BC, I will be able to "settle" in.

We have a 1st Vice President!  Bob MacLeod stepped forward and accepted my request to help for the remainder of the year.  I promise to do what I can to make it painless, Bob!  And thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I am sure Keith Mead will be very happy to finally have a male at the Board meetings to help offset the estrogen level present!  Welcome aboard!

OSA participated in the Garden Party held at the two Gardener's World locations in the valley. This took place during the weekend of March 20th and 21st.  The staff at both locations made us feel so welcome, and we hope we have the opportunity to participate again next year.  Sometimes it is difficult to recruit enough OSA members to assist in one event, but we pulled off two events simultaneously with eager assistance from our members.

I personally thank Nancy Burnett, Shirley Engberg, Sally and Steve Grass, Jim Johnson, Norma Kafer, Peggy Stejskal, and Willie Stimmell for handling the activities at the Glendale location; and thanks to Jane and Pete Heckel, Keith Mead, and Jen Hall for helping me man the east valley location.

On Friday and Saturday, April 2nd and 3rd, we were well-received by customers at HomeBase (90th St. and Shea, Scottsdale).  Our Orchid Ambassadors on Friday were Willie Stimmell and Ann Cherny, and on Saturday Willie again helped when I was able to be there.  If you did not have a chance to stop at any of the HomeBase locations during this weekend you really missed a beautiful selection of orchids.  There were hundreds!  I bought a few, and I now have my office "in bloom."  There are so many misconceptions out there regarding orchid care and it was a
great opportunity to help set the record straight.  Many people were encouraged by the "support" concept our society practices.

Tuesday night, April 6th, OSA presented a community service program for the Hassayampa 4-H Club.  It brought back old memories to me, as I was a member of two 4-H Clubs in my youth.  The kids were very excited about potting up their seedlings and learning about orchids.  It was a late night for most of us, as the program was held at 7:30 p.m. in Wickenburg; however, we were well received and the presentation was enjoyed by all.  We got a chance to see Niki and Debbie
Hamilton, OSA members, and members of the Hassayampa 4-H Club.  Assisting in the presentation conducted by Willie Stimmell were Sam Weinschenk, Norma Kafer, Sarah Heberling (Ma) and myself. Thanks to all who went the extra mile (or 90 miles each way) to help out.

Saturday, April 10th, a few of us gathered at Norma Kafer's home to attempt the raising of the greenhouse.  Once there it was quickly realized there was some ground work (literally) that needed to be completed before putting it all together.  The location where the greenhouse was to be placed was on an irrigation berm and the digging began.  We didn't get as much done that day as we had planned, but it is better to do it right the first time than have to dismantle the greenhouse at a later date and do it properly.  Those who showed up were Willie and Fred Stimmell, Jane and Pete Heckel, Keith Mead, Kelsey Schroeder (my niece who was visiting from Detroit, Michigan) and myself.  Frank (I apologize for not knowing his last name) was also there to help direct and instruct on erecting the greenhouse.  Frank is the one who originally built the greenhouse and knew what went where.  I know Keith spent time the following week preparing the plot, leveling the area and preparing the base for the final phase of putting it all together, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 17th.  I'll report the progress in the next newsletter.

Hats off to Willie for handling all of the Community Service Program Coordination!  I know she was presenting a program on Tuesday, April 13th, at the John C. Lincoln Adult Day Care.  I have not heard how that went, but I wish to thank Sally Grass for offering her assistance for the presentation when volunteers were requested at the March meeting.  I know Ken Gettys was also going to assist, and it is my understanding Ken donated one of his orchids as a door prize.
Thanks go to all, and I apologize if I overlooked someone's assistance.

Speaking of orchid and orchid-related donations, thanks go to all those who provided items for the raffle table at the March meeting.  Those providing donations were the family of Bernice Ehrlich, Phillip Liu, Willie Stimmell, August Lorenzini, the Washington Garden Club, the Orchid Society of Arizona, and myself.  Without donations we have no raffle table, so don't forget to
bring something for the cause if you can.

I am aware Willie has a Community Service Program scheduled for Tuesday, May 4th, for the Prince of Peace School.  This will be presented to approximately 20 pre-school children.  Since this will be taking place prior to our next meeting, the time we would ask for volunteers, I am asking that anyone who can help with this program to please call Willie and volunteer your time.  Experience tells me that you will get so much joy out of helping these children and you'll go home with a chuckle or two because of them.  Willie can be reached at 947-8479.
Please help if you can.

I hope everyone's health is improving.  Phun Krieger and Debbie Hamilton have recently endured a bit of surgery and are doing well as I understand.

We also send our condolences to Fred Rathbun on the passing of his mother, and Dee MacLeod on the passing of her mother.  I know this is a difficult time for you and your families.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.  If any of our other members are under the weather, I wish you a speedy return to good health.

Happy growing, and I hope to see you at the next meeting - Thursday, May 6th!



When you stop in at the Secret Garden at 5202 N. 7th Street, it is difficult to decide where to start.  To the right are rooms filled with all sorts of garden equipment.  If you go to the left is a huge room filled with thousands of flowers:  air dried, freeze dried, preserved using glycerin, fresh, etc.  The co-owners of the shop, Nancy and Lisa, are there to answer any questions that you might have.  

The freeze-drying machine costs $40,000 and is huge:  6 feet tall and weighs in at 2 thousand pounds.  Flowers take just a little over 2 weeks in the machine to become freeze dried.  You can have a special flower freeze dried or a bouquet.  There was a goldfish experiment, but we won't go into that here.

On the garden side are wonderful table top fountains, fountains for outside, potting benches, stepping stones, birdhouses, wall decorations, stones, anything you can imagine to put in your garden. There are many ideas that you might want to copy, such as their faux painting on the walls.

Nancy says that about 60% of their business is from special orders.  You can have your favorite saying engraved in a stone that you pick out.  Or you can have a sweet headstone for your departed pet. Or you can have Nancy help you with ordering LOTS of things to make your garden an outside room.  There are catalog books categorized to help you find a special gift.

Nancy will demonstrate different ways to preserve flowers-this includes those prize orchids that you have growing.  They have good results freeze drying dendrobs, oncidiums, catts, and cymbidiums; just not much luck with phals.  If you want a flower freeze dried, it will cost in the neighborhood of $6.  The glycerin idea sounds interesting and Nancy will explain how that is done.  So, if you are interested in preserving your flowers, any kind, join us for the May meeting.

by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator

On April 6, we traveled to Wickenburg and presented a program at 7:30 p.m.  for approximately 25 members of the Hassayampa 4-H group.  Sarah Heberling, Norma Kafer, Lou Remeikis, Sam Weinschenk, and I shared our blooming display plants with the children (and a few parents) who had gathered in the library of the Wickenburg High School.  Two familiar faces in the 4-H group were OSA members, Debbie and Niki Hamilton.  Niki proudly wore her OSA name badge! Also a student at Morristown Elementary School, Niki was the only 4-H member who had already potted an orchid seedling.  At the tender age of 7, she is already an enthusiastic, "experienced" orchid grower!

Children enrolled in 4-H groups already have a lively interest in the cultivation of plants, and it was our pleasure to expand their "plant horizon" by introducing them to orchids.

Special thanks to 4-H leader, Sabrina Peterson, for setting up the table for our display plants and providing covered work-station tables, and for making available an ample supply of deodorized milk jugs.

(Our web master, Jim Johnson, might already have posted a picture of the 4-H members holding their mini-greenhouses and newly potted seedlings, on our web site.)

A question we are frequently asked by school children is: are orchids used as food? The only orchid product we mention is vanilla.  (We do know that an OSA member concocted a recipe for orchid soup.   The only report we have on how it tastes is, "it's not bad".) Perhaps a follow-up program for schools could be devoted to documented medicinal uses and food products derived from orchids in various countries of the world.

One of the 4-H members asked whether orchids are poisonous to cats.  This is not the first time we have been asked the question.  Several growers have reported that their cats chewed on orchid leaves.  Lou answered the 4-H questioner by inquiring whether the cat was still alive after munching on an orchid.  Since the cat is still alive, it appears that that orchid was not poisonous to the cat.  (Might there be a substance akin to the taste of catnip in orchid leaves? If any OSA members have similar "cat attack" stories to share, we would like to hear about them.)

On April 13, OSA presented a program for the John C.  Lincoln Adult Day Care Center, in Phoenix.  Ken Gettys, Sally Grass, Norma Kafer, and I shared our blooming orchids with about 40 participants who were engaged in exercising when we arrived.  The doorprize phal was donated by Ken Gettys.  Thanks for sharing, Ken! The gentleman who won the phal also received a mini-greenhouse, a phal culture book, and .our phone numbers.  The activities at the Center appear to be non-stop.  After the conclusion of our program, several of the participants set to
work potting plants (not orchids) in a large flower bed outside the building.

(A report on the program scheduled for May 4 - Prince of Peace School - will appear in our June newsletter.  A report on the program scheduled for May 18 - Squaw Peak School - will appear in our July newsletter.)

It's only April and we're getting near the 100 degree mark, which always reminds us how hot it gets in Phoenix.  So put August 7on your calendar as a day to spend in cool, rainy Prescott for  a field trip to VAMC.

Wilella Stimmell

On the display table at our April meeting, there were two Iwanagara Appleblossom plants.  For those of you who attended OSA plant sales in 1998, you know that OSA sold 30 Iwan. Appleblossom plants in glorious bloom during the year.  Also, a commercial grower/OSA member donated two Iwan. Appleblossom plants in bloom last year for our raffle table.  While some growers have seen and/or purchased one of these plants, others might assume this hybrid is "new."  The
"trail" of Iwanagara hybrids appears to begin in 1960 with the registration of Iwan. Frontier. The listing is found in SANDER'S LIST OF ORCHID HYBRIDS, Vol. II of the 1946-1960 edition.

Iwanagara is a hybrid of: Brassavola x Cattleya x Diacrium x Laelia.  Up to 1995, SANDER'S LIST OF ORCHID HYBRIDS lists only four Iwanagara hybrids that were registered, but there could be others in existence which were not registered.

-       Iwan. Frontier is a hybrid of Diacattleya Chastity x Blc. Hodako and was registered by E.T. Iwanaga of Honolulu in 1960.
-       Iwan. Helen Fox is a hybrid of Diaca. Chastity x Blc. Ermine and was registered by Robert Peters of Kailua (or Nanakuli ), Hawaii in 1964.
-       Iwan. Varut Ruby is a hybrid of Blc. The Friar x Diaca. Chastity and was registered by Krairit Vejavarut, K.R. Orchids, Thailand, in 1987.
-       Iwan. Appleblossom is a hybrid of Dial. Snowflake x Blc. Orange Nugget and was registered by the Rod McLellan Co. in 1992.

All of the Iwan. Appleblossom plants OSA sold last year were mericlones, yet there were a few very subtle color variations among the flowers.  Such differences are possible among flowers of mericlones, but they are few in number.

Recent orchid reference works no longer refer to the genus Diacrium.  It has been renamed Caularthron.  Since Iwanagara was first registered as a new hybrid at a time when Diacrium was the accepted name for the genus, expect to see future registrations of Iwanagara list Diacrium, not Caularthron, as a parent.

There are a number of other generic names that utilize Diacrium and have been in usage for the past 94 years.  For example, Dial. is the standard abbreviation for the generic name Dialaelia. Dial. is a hybrid of Diacrium x Laelia.  The earliest Sander's List (commonly referred to as the Master List) lists the date of the first registered Dial. hybrid as 1905.  Diaca. (the genus of the pod parent used in Iwan. Frontier) is Cattleya x Diacrium.  The first Diacattleya hybrid was registered in 1908.  In order to make generic names be consistent with the newer name, Caularthron, all generic names based on Diacrium as one parent of a hybrid would have to
be changed - a highly unlikely occurrence.

16th World Orchid Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada - April 22 - May 3

Having not been an OSA member for very long, I am unaware of the many orchid shows and conferences that seem to occur on a regular basis.  I, therefore, inquired about the Vancouver conference and received two excited Emails in return.  According to my sources several OSA members are going.  Apparently, they'll be attending lots of lectures and seminars gathering knowlege and information to pass along to the rest of us.  I'm sure they'll all have a wonderful time, and I'm also sure we'll get in-depth reports on their experiences.
Nancy Burnett

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

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