The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966 


Newsletter







 

September 2000
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.

September Program
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 Hansen.
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 then…
Happy Growing, 

Lou Ann

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 PERCEPTIONS
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, coordinated effort.) 
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."
(http://www.arabidopsis.org/workshop1.html )   
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."
(http://www.hhmi.org/news/chory.html )
On August 14, the web site of the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative revealed that the gene sequencing is 92.9% complete. 
(http://www.arabidopsis.org/agi.html )
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 Orchids.  
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)
http://www.users.fast.net/~warlock2/grower.htm
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 for you. 

Virtual Goodies
This month’s website comes to us from              
Wilella Stimmell
The site:
First Rays

The Address:
http:\\www.firstrays.com
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 kelp 3-2-2)
     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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