The Arizona Orchidist Newsletter 

published by

The Orchid Society Of Arizona, Inc.

Founding Editor Clarence S. Lindsten, 1966





Growers with internet access are incouraged to use the Questions and Answers link on OSA’s web site. The URL for our web site is:


NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING: The next scheduled Board Meeting will be Sunday, September 27, 1:00 PM, at the home of Lou Ann Remeikis, 237 N. Corinne Circle, Gilbert, (see page 2, October Program, for directions).



The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, October 1st, 1998, held at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona, (phone 252-2120). The meetng, open to all plant enthusiasts, will start at 7:00p.m.


NOTE - The program speaker for November will be Bob Dressler, noted author from Florida.



The Nominating Committee’s Slate of Officers and Trustees for 1999


The Nominating Committee is pleased to present the following list of candidates:

President - Catherine Nelson

1st Vice President - Lou Ann Remeikis

2nd Vice President - Norma Kafer

Secretary - Jane Heckel

Treasurer - Keith Mead

Trustee - Maura Roberts - term expires Dec, 00

Trustee - Shirley Engberg - term expires Dec, 00


We believe the slate we have proposed for the upcoming election represents a strong,united, and dynamic team. OSA wishes to thank the two retiring Trustees, Ann Cherny and Marga Lemaire, for their dedicated service. Our other two Trustees, Kathleen Luther and Peggy Stejskal, will continue to serve until their terms expire in Dec, 99.

Respectfully submitted by: Catherine Nelson (Chairman), Julie Rathbun, Ann Cherny







OAS would like to thank Ron and Shirley Norman for transporting Dennis Olivas from Tucson to Phoenix. We also thank OSSA for sharing expenses for our speaker.

Program by Dennis Olivas---Dennis is any mother's dream, he left his mother 6,000 orchids when he left Hawaii. It wasn't even Mother's Day. Dennis loves to collect orchids.

He rather quickly reestablished a nice collection after swearing off orchids. I kinda think he is addicted, but it's a healthy addiction.


Dennis talked about Paphs and Phrags. Some points of interest. Phrags don't like their roots disturbed, transplant midspring or fall. Paphs can be transplanted at any time, though do best once a year. Phrags are sequential bloomers and the blooms can last months. Dennis fertilizes once a week with an 18-18-18 or 20-20-20 1/4 strength. He also waters first, then fertilizes. He recommends for insects to use a mixture of 1 pint alcohol, one pint 409 and 3 and 1/2 quarts water. Spray on & under leaves. Spray again in one week.


Dennis then showed us slides which were very interesting. We then had the silent auction. It was an enjoyable and educational evening.

Norma Kafer







Your plant, as well as yourself CAN be immortal! Come to the October meeting and we will show you how this is done. Preparing HERBARIUM SPECIMENS will be demonstrated with a "hands-on" show. Natalie Warford has kindly compiled a hand-out for the meeting, complete with illustrations, so that we can individually make this contribution to orchid science.


Have you ever heard the expression, "every cloud has a silver lining?" Preparing herbarium specimens is a prime example of that expression. We have all had, and will in the future have orchid SPECIES that fall "victim" to our care and devotion! Rather than toss the poor thing out, why not take a small amount of time and prepare a herbarium specimen. It is easy to do, takes very little time, and is a vital part of plant identification and range documentation. When you produce the specimen, you also provide some basic information about the plant and provide your name. You are credited with providing that herbarium specimen to a collection for science-sake!


Our Society will also be hosting Kristin Huisinga as a speaker to our group. Kristin, as most of you know, is our scholarship recipient from last year, as well as the recipient of Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs' scholarships. Kristin has been a very busy girl this last year. She has been working on her Master's Degree at NAU as a result of our assistance. She will soon be defending her thesis, in October if I'm correct. Kristin has been doing her field work in the Verde Valley, and from what Willie has said, Kristin must know every square inch of the Verde Valley! We look forward to hearing Kristin speak of her accomplishments!


An invitation has been sent to all members of the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs to join in our monthly meeting because the AFGC has also awarded Kristin a scholarship in the past. It will give members of the AFGC a chance to see and hear Kristin, and to be proud of her accomplishments. Kristin's accomplishments are also the accomplishments of AFGC and OSA! Please make our AFGC guests feel welcome!


I look forward to travelling with those of you taking the San Diego trip. For those of you who have never been on this trip - you will really enjoy it. For those of us who have gone before - we wouldn't miss it!


NEXT BOARD MEETING: Sunday, 09/27/98, at 1:00 p.m., at Lou Ann Remeikis' home. Address: 237 N. Corrine Circle, Gilbert, AZ, phone: 892-0263! Directions: Take Superstition Freeway (US 60) east to Gilbert Road exit. Right on Gilbert Road to Guadalupe. Left on Guadalupe to Lindsay. Right on Lindsay to Stonebridge Drive (Stonebridge Lake Estates). Right on Stonebridge Drive to Riata. Right on Riata, left on Vaughn, left on Corrine Circle - 5th house on left. It sounds confusing, but it's not too hard to find. Travel with my phone number in case you get lost! Lou Remeikis









ANN CHERNY 948-7944









Wilella Stimmell





A large assembly of members and guests at our September 3rd meeting welcomed our speaker, Dennis Olivas, owner of D & D Flowers, of Daly City, California. Elsewhere in this newsletter, [page 2 - ed], you will find a summary of the main points from Dennis's presentation. However, following our meeting, Dennis shared with me a fact that members might find surprising: There are plants with NO name tags in his orchid collection, and some of those are his FAVORITE orchids! [this is called Murphy’s law - ed]


During his brief stay in Phoenix, Dennis enjoyed a visit to our Desert Botanical Garden. Upon seeing unusual specimens of cacti and succulents, he decided that he had been sufficiently tempted to purchase plants from the Plant Shop. However, fate intervened: the Plant Shop was closed!


After Dennis returned home, he sent an e-mail message in which he said, "I really enjoyed meeting members of both the Orchid Society of Arizona and the Orchid Society of Southern Arizona. I hope the members learned much about growing phragmipediums and paphiopedilums. If by chance they have more questions, throw them out at me... I'll get the (plant) list out ASAP.”(Dennis's e-mail address is:


An abundance of plants and orchid-related items on our September raffle table was donated by: Dennis Olivas (two flasks of seedlings), and by members Deacon Bell, Joe Civello, Suz Cramer, the family of Bernice Ehrlich, Joe Freasier, Bob MacLeod, OSA, Julie Rathbun, and me. Thanks to Dennis and to our members for being so generous with their donations and to all purchasers of raffle tickets! (Note: Deacon Bell was not mentioned as a donor of plants for our August raffle table, and he did indeed donate the divisions of his Lc. Jungle Elf 'Cheryl Isobe' that were on the table. Sorry for the omission,





Monica Lee Hansen, A senior in Botany at Northern Arizona University, was selected to

receive the money that was donated in memory of Bernice Ehrlich to the Scholarship Fund

of the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs. Monica was born in Texas and reared in

Tucson. At the age of 12, she moved with her family to Indonesia. She stated on her

scholarship application that she would like to return to Indonesia and help stop the further

destruction of the rain forests there.


The combination of Monica's excellent scholastic performance and the "bond" between

Monica and Bernice from both having lived in Indonesia, were the deciding factors in our

selection of the recipient for the generous donations in memory of Bernice. We later

learned that when Monica lived in Indonesia, she lived next orchid nursery, and she

"loves" orchids!


Bernice grew her first orchids during her residence in Indonesia, and she often told tales of her gardener climbing trees to bring her orchids to grow in her back yard. OSA's Board Members unanimously agreed that Bernice would want Monica to receive the scholarship money.


When Monica telephoned to thank OSA for awarding her the scholarship, she was told about the "connection" between her receiving the scholarship and Bernice. That knowledge places the scholarship on a more personal level.




September 10, program at the Arizona State Veteran Home, 4141 N. 3rd St., Phoenix -


Four OSA members who had not previously participated in a community service program,

worked together to brighten the day of 20 veterans who had assembled in the Staff Dining

Room on the second floor of ASVH. Thanks to Shirley Engberg, Richard Hendricks,

Norma Kafer, and Julie Rathbun for demonstrating that the joy of growing orchids

involves sharing with others. And special thanks to Erling Eaton, a former OSA member

and a neighbor of Richard's, for lending a hand. We brought an assortment of blooming

plants for display, and then we got down to the business of helping to repot the seedlings.

Our team was efficient and friendly, and ...we cleaned up after we made the potting mess.

We think that the veterans genuinely enjoyed a hands-on orchid experience.


Several of the veterans had "adopted" the blooming orchids in 8" pots that we used during

our program presentation at ASVH last October. At that time, those who hesitated to adopt

a large plant, requested another program wherein we used smaller plants that would fit on

the windowsills in their rooms.


For this program, we used 20 phalaenopsis seedlings which OSA purchased, 3" pots, and

our useful milk jug mini-greenhouses. Each member of the audience received a plant. One

veteran who had not adopted a blooming orchid last year, inquired how long it would take

for his new orchid "baby" to bloom. When told that the time would be from one to two

years, he said that he didn't think he had that much time left. We then asked him how old

he was, and when he said that he was 83, we told him that he was a "youngster" and that

on his 93rd birthday, we would talk more seriously about "time left". He truly seemed to

enjoy the jovial encouragement!


Thanks to Scott Emerson for providing many of the milk jugs used during the program.

Prior to the program, he brought jugs to several of our monthly meetings, AND

DELIVERED even more jugs to my house! Quite modestly, he said, "I drink a lot of

milk." And we are so glad he does!


Other members also brought milk jugs to meetings prior to the program, and all such

donations were greatly appreciated and used on Sept. 10.


Members Doug Baldwin, Jack Callison, and Natalie Warford donated film canisters which

we fill with fertilizer. In addition to the seedlings we donate to groups receiving our

community service programs, we also donate books and all potting supplies, including

small quantities of fertilizer. Thanks to Doug, Jack, and Natalie for delivering and/or

mailing their donations of canisters.



Scheduled for October 6 - Programs at Mensendick School, 5535 N. 67th Ave., Glendale



Beginning at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6, 9 classes of students in grades, 4, 5, and 6,

will be introduced to orchids! 150 students will participate. Some of the classrooms are

separated by folding doors, and we will be able to condense the number of programs to 5,

with the last program concluding at 12:30 p.m. We have purchased 90 phalaenopsis

seedlings for use in the programs, and we will also furnish pumice rocks that will be

placed in the bottom of the mini-greenhouses that the students will make. After we help

the students repot the plants, each classroom will have 10 seedlings to call their own. The

teacher in each classroom will be given a copy of Bob Gordon's BEGINNER'S GUIDE

TO GROWING PHALAENOPSIS ORCHIDS. (Thanks to Bob Gordon for donating the

books to OSA for use in our community service programs and to Leith Plunkett for

donating AND DELIVERING the pumice rocks.) Students and teachers have been saving

milk jugs and pickle jars for their mini-greenhouses.


We need blooming plants for a display table on October 6. If you would like to share the

beauty of your blooms with students who have never seen orchids but you are unable to

actively participate in the programs, call any OSA Board Member to arrange for plant



You might like to know that a few of our members who have day jobs, have requested

time off from work so that they can participate in the programs at the school! If only one

student at Mensendick develops an appreciation for orchids and/or is inspired to become a

botanist, the programs will have been well worth our efforts.



meeting regarding our upcoming November 14 & 15 event will be held on October 4, at 1

p.m., at Keith Mead's home, 12054 S. Appaloosa, Phoenix. (Peggy Stejskal and Keith are

co-chairs for our show.) Please call Keith to let him know that you will attend or...bring a

folding chair! Subjects sure to be discussed on the 4th: GRASS SKIRTS and...PINA

COLADAS! Our show theme is:



Our show flyers will be distributed at our October 1 meeting. Suz Cramer designed our

colorful flyer before she departed for Telluride. Thanks Suz! EVERYONE who has seen it

thinks it is outstanding!


OSA GREENHOUSE TO BE MOVED ON OCT. 17. The "move"might also spill over to

the 18th, depending on how many problems we encounter when we actually start work on

dismantling the greenhouse and moving it to Norma Kafer's back yard. We need willing

workers! More details will be presented at our Oct. 1 meeting.




Washington, Aug. 31, 1998 - "The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing a

regulation change that would allow Phalaenopsis spp. orchids in growing media to be

imported into the United States."


'Currently, these orchids may only be imported with bare roots in an effort to prevent the

introduction of plant pests and diseases into the United States,' said Alfred S. Elder,

Deputy Administrator for Plant Protection and Quarantine with the Animal and Plant

Health Inspection Service, a part of USDA's marketing and Regulatory Programs Area.

'However, after conducting a pest-risk analysis, APHIS, determined that if the orchids

were grown in an approved growing medium, the degree of pest risk is less than that

associated with bare-rooted orchids.'


"The orchids would be subject to certain other growing, inspection, and certification

requirements. The proposed rule would add Phalaenopsis spp. orchids to the list of plants

that may be imported in an approved growing medium."


Thanks to OSA member, Alan Ladd, for calling our attention to the proposed change in

orchid importation regulations and for submitting the APHIS press release for publication

in our newsletter.


The full text of the APHIS document was published on September 1 in the FEDERAL

REGISTER, Volume 63, Number 169 (Proposed Rules), pages 46403-46406. Any OSA

member who wishes to view a copy of this document, will find it available at our Oct. 1



The following information is found in "Supplementary Information", 'Background', page

46403 of the document:

"In 1997, the government of Taiwan requested that APHIS consider amending the

regulations to allow orchids of the genus be imported into the United

States under the provisions of Sec. 319.37-8 (e). Taiwan is the largest exporter of

Phalaenopsis spp. orchids to the United States, exporting most of them as bare-rooted

plants... Several other countries, notably Thailand and the Netherlands, also export

orchids, including Phalaenopsis spp. orchids, to the United States. In its request, the

Taiwanese Government specifically requested that we allow Phalaenopsis spp. orchids to

be imported into the United States established in sphagnum moss, which is one of the

approved growing media listed in Sec. 319.37-8 (e).


The regulations in Sec. 319. 37-8 (g) provide that a request such as that made by Taiwan

to allow the importation of additional taxa of plants established in growing media will be

evaluated by APHIS using specific pest risk evaluation standards."


Another section of the APHIS document , on page 46404, deals with Domestic (U.S.)

Production of potted orchid plants - statistical data gathered by the National Agricultural

Statistics Service (NASS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture. Their conclusion appears to be

that the data at their disposal, which is "aggregate data for all types of orchid plants" (not

limited to Phalaenopsis spp. orchids as a separate orchid type) is "of limited usefulness"

regarding the impact a change in this regulation would have on commercial U.S. orchid

growers. Three additional reasons given why the data is of limited usefulness: NASS data

is available only for the year 1996; it includes only the producers with annual gross sales

of $100,000 or more; and includes only producers in 36 states.


"The NASS data shows that there were 169 growers of potted orchid plants in the United

States in 1996. These 169 growers sold a combined 8.2 million potted orchids that year,

with an equivalent wholesale value of $42.7 million, for an average of $252,781 per

grower. Of the 8.2 million potted orchids sold, 5.1 million (62%) were less than 5 inches

in diameter. The average wholesale price of pots less than 5 inches in diameter was $3.90;

the average wholesale price for pots 5 inches or more in diameter was $7.30."


Continuing the mind-numbing statistics on page 46405: "The 8.2 million pots were

produced in a 6.3 million sq. ft. area, an average of 36,982 sq. ft. for each of the 169

growers. Three states -- California, Florida, and Hawaii -- accounted for 55% of the

growers and 92% of the pots sold in 1996. Florida alone accounted for about 25% of the

growers and about 50% of the pots sold. ...The American Orchid Society (AOS) does not

collect statistical data on the production of potted Phalaenopsis spp. orchids in the United

States, but it estimates that about half of all potted orchids plants produced in the United

States fall within that genus."


The USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) also collects and publishes statistical data,

but FAS includes both U.S. imports and exports of orchid plants. FAS data is also

aggregate data and does not isolate figures for separate orchid types such as Phalaenopsis.


"The FAS data shows that the United States is a net importer of orchid plants. In 1996, the

United States imported 223 metric tons of orchid plants worth $4.3 million; Taiwan,

Thailand, and the Netherlands together accounted for 93% of those imports. ... In

comparison, the United States exported 52 metric tons of orchid plants in 1996 ..." (Note:

the word "tons" not bolded in the document text)


Under the sub-heading, 'Effects on Small Entities':


"The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the economic impact of

rule changes on small businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions. Those

entities potentially affected by this proposed rule are growers, retailers, and importers of

Phalaenopsis spp. orchids.


...Domestic producers would be adversely affected if they lose plant sales to cheaper

foreign imports. Currently, Phalaenopsis spp. orchids grown in Taiwan are sold in the

United States at or below the price of domestically produced Phalaenopsis spp. orchids...

This proposed rule would likely enhance the competitive positions of the countries

currently exporting orchids to the United States...


Domestic growers are already competing with imports of bare-rooted Phalaenopsis spp.

orchids, so the magnitude of any adverse economic impact would depend on the extent to

which they rely on potted Phalaenopsis spp. orchids as a source of their overall revenue,

the extent to which their sales of potted Phalaenopsis spp. orchids are displaced by

imports, and the amount of any increase in the overall level of orchid plant imports. ... The

number of producers who grow potted Phalaenopsis spp. orchids exclusively...those who

could be affected most by the rule change, is unknown. However, many producers appear

to be in that category, since the AOS estimates that about half of all potted orchid plants

produced by U.S. growers are of the genus Phalaenopsis.


The amount of lost sales would depend, in turn, on the price differential between domestic

and foreign plants and on the volume of plant imports, both of which are unknown at this

time. is reasonable to assume that most of the entities potentially affected by this

proposed rule are small, at least by U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA)



The purpose of this public notice of a proposed change in the regulations governing the

importation of orchids is to give interested persons a chance to be heard prior to the

adoption of the final rules. Comments must be received on or before November 2, 1998, in

order to be considered. An original and three copies of your comments (remember, this is

our government in action!) should be sent to: Docket No. 98-035-1, Regulatory Analysis

and Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD

20737-1238. State that your comments refer to Docket No. 98-035-1. If you think there

are unknown economic factors that are equally as important to consider as the criterion that

the proposed change presents no pest risk, make sure your comments are received at PPD,

APHIS, before November 2!





If anyone is interested in sponsoring a Newsletter for a particular month, please contact the

editor. The cost could be from $40 to $80 depending upon the desires of the sponsor.

Example sponsors in the past have generously donated in the name of a deceased family

member. However the amount and reference is strickly up to the sponsor.