Next OSA Board Meeting - The next Board meeting
will be held on Sunday, August 27th, in Prescott, AZ, at the Northern Arizona
Veteran’s Administration Health Care facility, 500 Highway 89N. The
meeting is open to all OSA members, and you are encouraged to participate
in this annual Board of Director’s field trip.
The Do's and Don'ts of Dendrobium Culture
By Dennis Olivas
Dennis Olivas grew up on the island of Kauai and left
the garden island in 1980. Vowing never to grow orchids again after 16
years of nurturing and patience, he purchased a Paphiopedilum Maudiae from
the Rod McLellan Company in South San Francisco. The rest is history, he
now leases a 3,000 sq. Ft. greenhouse in Half Moon Bay. There are about
14,000 plants with a wide variety of orchids grown such as Cattleya, Dendrobium,
Vanda, Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium, Masdavallia, Odontoglossum, Miltoniopsis,
Lycaste, Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis, Sobralia and many, many more. Dennis
owns D & D Flowers with partner, David Dunn. He is a member of 11 orchid
societies and participates with all. He was past President for the San
Francisco, Peninsula and Santa Cruz Orchid Society. He served as board
member for most, and does advisory work for the various orchid shows and
auctions. He is a judge for the American Orchid Society.
Members and guests who did not have the privilege of
hearing Dennis speak at our September, 1998 meeting, will encounter a speaker
with a great sense of humor, an animated presentation, the sharing of extensive
orchid knowledge, and a good friend of OSA! DENNIS WILL ALSO
BE BRINGING PLANTS FOR OUR SILENT AUCTION!!!!
From the President’s Desk
Lou Ann Remeikis
Did everyone enjoy August’s meeting? Hopefully
so! Jane did a great job showing us how to get started making our
own wood baskets and helping to explain the cultural requirements of orchids
grown in baskets. Pete also needs to be thanked for making the kit
Jane used. Pete is pretty handy with things like that!
Julie also demonstrated how easy it is to make baskets out of hardware
cloth (wire). Just don’t do it the way Julie did - use gloves!
That wire can be pretty hazardous to the hands.
I would never recommend repotting an orchid the way we
did at the August meeting, but my Aerides quiqevulnerum is fairing quite
well. The bloom spike was quite lengthy and fully developed on this
plant we used for the program. Although this is not the recommended
time to repot any orchid, I wanted to demonstrate how an orchid is repotted
into a basket and I really wanted to grow this in a basket anyway.
Just remember if you grow in a basket, your watering schedule must be more
frequent as the basket does not maintain moisture like plastic or clay
pots! Daily watering, sometimes twice a day in the summer, is necessary
for basket culture.
I spoke at the August meeting of possibly granting a
botanical scholarship to one of three students who were submitted to OSA
by the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs. In light of the
fact college classes were about to start and the scholarship funds were
needed for this semester, I took a telephonic and/or e-mail poll of the
Board members. The Board passed a motion to award a scholarship to
Monica is a student at Northern Arizona University and
is entering her first semester of graduate study in botany. OSA received
her scholarship application, along with several letters of recommendation
from professors at NAU. I think we have made a good choice
from the list of scholarship candidates we received. I look forward
to hearing of Monica’s progress as the year goes on, and OSA wishes her
well in her educational endeavors.
I want to thank those members who generously brought,
to August’s meeting, their donations to the residents of the Northern Arizona
Veteran’s Administration Health
System. We have a lot to take to these needy and
very grateful men and women. I will provide a full report of the
Board of Directors’ trip to Prescott at September’s meeting and in the
next newsletter. I know a good time will be had by all who participate
in this “on the road” Board meeting, and I am pleased we have a number
of our members who are planning on going north with us!
Just a short blurb on last month’s newsletter -
I apologize for the printing change. I volunteered to get it copied
and didn’t realize I needed a very special sized paper until it was too
late to get it. I have always had an appreciation for those members
who copy, fold, staple, tape, apply mailing labels and stamps and drop
the 100 plus newsletters into the mailbox. I have an even GREATER
appreciation now because I did it all by myself last month.
It is a lengthy, time-stealing task that is so overlooked by those of us
who just get our newsletters in the mail and think nothing of it.
A “BIG” Thank You goes to Willie (who heads up this chore and gets volunteers
to help). I know Nelda Caldwell, Norma Kafer, Glena Petro, Julie
Rathbun have been part of her “crew” in the past. I am sure
I am missing a few people that have helped her out with this task, and
for that I am sorry for omitting your names, but I am truly impressed by
what this “team” accomplishes on a month-to-month basis and I wanted to
acknowledge these people’s efforts!
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Holiday!
I will be celebrating Labor Day with my folks and seeing two of my three
brothers in Illinois. My four year old niece is going with me to
Illinois the day after the Board Meeting in Prescott, and I’ll return the
day before our September meeting. You will actually see me
“rested” and rejuvenated, something that is foreign to me! Until
OSA COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORT
by Wilella Stimmell, CSP Coordinator
It's back to school time not only for students, but also
for OSA's School Program Team. This is the first time we will be presenting
programs in a newly constructed school. On September 15, we will introduce
2 classes of 4th grade students at HIGHLAND LAKES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 19,000
N. 63rd Ave., Glendale, to orchids. The programs will begin at 1:20
PM and 2:20 PM. Both of these classes are large, so we need as many program
team members to help as possible. For members who are unavailable to physically
assist but are willing to loan blooming plants for our display table, please
phone me at (480) 947-8479 to arrange for pick-up of your plants.
Curious about what goes on during these programs but not ready to offer
to lend a hand? Members are also welcome to attend as observers.
If any OSA members mention our school programs to teachers
and/or parents, be sure to also state that our first opening on our community
service schedule is in January, 2001. We have one program scheduled for
January and can accommodate one more. February is open, and one date in
March has already been booked. Our schedule fills up quickly, so if you
know of a teacher who wants us to present programs for her class,
please stress that the sooner we are contacted, the better chance the class
has of being added to our calendar.
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED PLANTS: OBJECTIVES AND FEARFUL
by Wilella Stimmell
Besides doing major damage to your bank account, shopping
excursions can also result in other surprises. One such surprise recently
happened while I was meandering through the main plaza in Santa Fe, New
Mexico. Protests have the potential to become quite unpleasant. I learned
this lesson the hard way in 1975 in Argentina.(After a shopping excursion
in Buenos Aires, I needed to stop at the nearest restaurant for refreshment.
As I approached the restaurant, I spotted a mob of VERY angry men. Instinctively
I slowly backed away from them and braced myself against the wall of a
building across the street. A few minutes later a bomb blasted the windows
out of the restaurant. Pieces of glass were flying and people were
screaming and bleeding, but I was unharmed. Even though my knees seemed
unwilling to support me, I was able to wobble to safety and considered
the experience a lesson I really should remember.) But the protesters in
Santa Fe seemed to be unarmed country folks who were passionate, but not
angry. The gentleman on the bandstand was speaking about the "evils" of
consuming genetically engineered foods, and farmers had small tables set
up where they were dispensing free literature. I later read all of the
brochures I picked up at the rally and discovered that the Center for Food
Safety makes some valid points regarding potential health hazards in genetically
engineered foods. However, a knee-jerk reaction to boycott all companies
that produce genetically engineered foods until all such foods are removed
from the marketplace, seems to be unwarranted. Of the consumers who responded
to a internet poll on whether they would or would not eat genetically modified
foods, 66% said that they would eat such foods, and 34% responded that
they would not.
I wondered whether any of the "Frankenfood" protesters
knew of the progress plant scientists throughout the world had made
on completing the DNA sequencing of Arabidopsis thaliana, a small flowering
plant of the mustard family, and the long-term goal of creating a "virtual"
plant. When the gene sequencing is complete, the next goal of plant scientists
is to determine the function of all Arabidopsis genes.
Arabidopsis is the lab rat of the plant kingdom - prolific,
easily grown, and with a rapid lifecycle. Also, it has the smallest known
genome of any flowering plant.
On January 13 and 14, 2000, the National Science Foundation
sponsored The Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis 2010 Project workshop
held at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In addition to researchers
from The Salk Institute, scientists from University of Pennsylvania, Novartis
Agricultural Discovery Institute, New York University, Texas A & M
University, University of North Carolina, Dartmouth College, Unite de Recherche
en Genomique Vegetale INRA (France), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Long
Island, NY), Kyoto University (Japan), Michigan State University, and Carnegie
Institute of Plant Biology, participated in the workshop. (In addition
to the above institutions, Arabidopsis genome research is also being conducted
in laboratories at UC Berkley, Stanford, Washington University in St. Louis,
Heidelberg University in Germany, and elsewhere. The research is a global,
The following Long Term Goal of the 2010 Project was
stated on page 3 of the report:
"In order to most efficiently and safely manipulate plants
to meet growing societal needs, we must in essence create a wiring diagram
of a plant through its entire life cycle: from germinating seed to production
of the next generation of seeds in mature flowers. These processes
are guided by genes and the proteins they encode. They are directed by
both intrinsic developmental cues and environmental signals. The long-term
goal for plant biology following complete sequencing of the Arabidopsis
genome is to understand every molecular interaction in every cell throughout
a plant lifecycle. In essence, to understand the function of every gene,
by the year 2010."
Joan Chory, research investigator at Howard Hughes Medical
Institute and co-chair of The 2010 Project workshop, stated:
"We need another Green Revolution in the next 50 years...Since
we're going to have nine billion people on this planet, we'll need to double
our food output. And we need to do it intelligently, not by using up all
the arable land on earth. Since we've already achieved much of the productivity
increase we can through traditional breeding, we will need to use transgenic
technology to take the next steps in domesticating wild species and producing
higher-yield, more nutritious crop plants."
On August 14, the web site of the Arabidopsis Genome
Initiative revealed that the gene sequencing is 92.9% complete.
Cereon Genomics, LLC (a subsidiary of Pharmacia Corp),
has made available to researchers in the academic and non-profit sector,
its list of the new Arabidopsis data (39,00 polymorphisms discovered by
Cereon. "Polymorphisms between subspecies of an organism are typically
used to map genes on a chromosome and eventually isolate the gene to study
its function." NSF PR 00-39)
If scientists create the "virtual plant", is there a
potential for abuse of the information? Of course there is! Potential abuse
exists in EVERYTHING, not just in genetic engineering of plants. With cautious
optimism, I hope that the new information will be used as a "force for
good". Will orchid hybridizers use the "virtual plant" to create bizarre
orchids? Anything is possible! However, it's unlikely that commercial growers
would expend precious, limited capital on the creation of hybrids for which
there is no known market. There is no accounting for some people's tastes,
and I suppose it's possible that there might be a few growers who think
DayGlo colors would be "awesome", but hybridizers have already given us
"art shades" (a synonym for ugly?). The plant that sucked human blood in
"The Little Shop of Horrors" remains...a creation of SCIENCE FICTION!
Now that’s a big orchid!
The following is from the September 2000 National Geographic.
The page section is entitled Geo Graphica, no author given.
An Orchid for the Ages
Giant Asian species unfurls thousands of blooms
High in the Borneo rain forest, biologist Tim Laman can
upon a rare sight. Growing 150 feet above the ground, encircling
a huge tree trunk, an immense orchid was blooming- Grammatophyllum speciosum
Blume. It formed a 25-foot-wide “crow’s nest” that had trapped hundreds
of pounds of vegetation. From the structure grew some 50 spikes,
five to eight feet long. Each bore spikes of 50 to 100 flowers, here
examined by Laman’s climbing partner, Phil Atkinson.
The species, first described in 1825 by botanist Carl Blume, grows from
mainland Southeast Asia to the Solomon Islands. Only one other orchid
species, in Ecuador, approaches it in mass.
“I think this specimen is a good candidate for the worlds
largest singe orchid,” says Laman.
A glimpse of the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate Field Trip
By Jennifer Hall
Wow! The alarm went off earlier this year than last year
when we went to San Diego. Well it seemed to anyway.
This year the OSA’s destination was Santa Barbara. I was excited
for two reasons: first, I got to go shopping for orchids! (This is what
I save up all year for.), And second, I had never been to Santa Barbara.
After a quick breakfast we went to the airport (I stayed
with my mom again, Jane Heckel, cause who knew better about getting me
out of bed early after going through my teenage years!). Meeting
up with everyone, we got ready to board the plane. Excitement showed
through the sleepy haze -barely. Our flight went smoothly and soon
we walked out into the COOL Burbank air to catch the bus. It was
slightly overcast and the air was a wonderful reprieve from Phoenix.
The bus was comfortable, the drive taking us up the coast
as the sun was still low in the sky. A lot of the group caught up on some
sleep during the ride. As we neared Santa Barbara, Lou Ann and I saw surfers
and dolphins jumping. A good sign. The dolphins, not the surfers.
Pulling up to the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate the bus driver let us off
at the gate after an excellent six point turn in a residential street,
the Estate was packed when we got there. The show was set up off
to the side of the parking lot and boasted quite a bit more vendors that
the San Diego fair. This area of California was so green and
it had a peaceful feel to it you don’t find in many places.
Now, to be honest, I said I was going to walk around
and see what everybody had before I bought anything. That was shot
to the wind when I got to the first booth, Andy’s Orchids. Well .
. . They had the Brassovola cucullata I wanted . . . and it
had three blooms. Ok, I can hear your laughter. From their
shopping went well and I was good, relatively. A few others,
and I’m not going to name names, were going to be good. And that
they were, at buying! Who could blame them? Vendor selection
was great and for the most part prices were reasonable. The only
thing that one needed to look out for was that some of the plants for sale
were cool growers. Even somewhat prepared for it, all those orchids
for sale in one spot is a bit overwhelming. Besides the vendors
out front, the Estate had its green house open in the back. A lot
of ground to cover in what seemed too short of time. I never even
made it to Cal Orchids up the street, maybe next year. A cookout
was set up and the food selection was favorable. Santa Barbara Orchid
Estate had even set up to “check” your orchids while you continued to shop
or stopped to eat. Before we knew it, it was time to go to Stewart’s
A short bus ride, one little detour, and we were at Stewart’s
Orchids. When we arrived, they had out cakes, veggies and dip as
well as coffee, juice, and water for us. The nice sale area and large
green house were open to browse. Because they were moving, they had
quite a few good sale prices and a 3-inch orchid free when you bought another
plant. So, we bought more plants, of course!
Most of the wrapping took place on the bus back to the
airport which worked out extremely well. The flight home was equally
uneventful(no 40 minute delay on the runway this year). Our new plants
snug in their wrappings we dragged our tired bodies home to unwrap them
and go to bed.
It was a pleasure to spend the day in Santa Barbra, with
a group of wonderful people. The experience of the field trip is
a good one to have. I just can’t wait til next year!
ORDERING ORCHIDS VIA MAIL?
When ordering orchids via mail order from commercial
growers with whom you have had no experience, check with fellow OSA members
BEFORE you order to find out if they were pleased with plants shipped to
them from a particular grower. If you can't locate any members who
have ordered plants from the grower in question, and you have internet
access, contact OGRES (Orchid Grower Rating Evaluation system)
Alternatively, feel free to phone any OSA member who
has an e-mail address listed in our 2000 Membership Roster. If a member
has an e-mail address, it's a fairly safe bet that he/she also has access
to the World Wide Web and would be happy to check on the grower's evaluation
This month’s website comes to us from
This is the site that has Home Remedies on it, as well
as Conversion Factors, Hydroponics, Hybrid Names and Genealogies, Orchid
Artwork and Jewelry, and of course, a plant list and supplies.
If you have a hybrid for which you’d like to know the
parentage, you can send a message to First Rays, and they’ll do the research.
We would hope that no OSA members would abuse the privilege and generosity
of First Rays.
Bob’s Fertilizer Mix
3 Tbsp Concern Vitalize (fish
12 oz beer (dark beer preferred)
15 drops Superthrive
1 Tbsp MgSO 4 (Epsom Salt)
Dissolve in ¼ gallon hot water, then add ¾
gallon of cold water and add the following:
1 drop Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
Apply as foliar feed and soil drench.
Thanks to Bob Mac Leod for giving us his recipe.
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