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: http://welcome.to/orchidsocietyaz


NEXT OSA BOARD MEETING: The next scheduled Board Meeting will be Sunday,

November 1, 1 p.m. at the home of Joe Freasier and Wayne Baker, 4417 E. Calle Feliz,


Note: This is a combined BOARD MEETIING and OPEN GREENHOUSE, and we thank Joe and Wayne for volunteering to host an open greenhouse. Wayne is still recuperating from surgery, and it is good news to learn that he is on the mend.



The next regular society monthly meeting will be Thursday, November 5th, 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 November meeting will include the election of the 1999 Board of Directors


Web Site

Our meetings and events are now listed with other non profit organizations at www.azcentral.com. This site has a link to our OSA web page which is superbly mastered by our own Jim Johnson. Visit both when you get a chance. Keith Mead




Robert Dressler is our featured speaker for the November meeting. He and his wife Kerry, live in Micanopy, Florida where Bob is Adjunct Curator with the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida and Senior Scientist at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida and Coordinator for the Orchidaceae Section of the Flora MesoAmericana for the Missouri Botanical Gardens and associated with several other universities. As a Botanist, Bob has worked mostly on orchid classification, on orchid pollination and on the bees that pollinate many tropical orchids.

Bob was born in the Ozarks and attended a oneroom school until he was about 10 when the family moved to Los Angeles. He attended school in California, was in the Army (WW II) then entered college. He speaks Spanish fluently having worked in Mexico. He met Kerry in Panama where she was working on the butterflies of Panama. At his request, she took up photography because he hated to carry a camera. He promised her all the film and equipment that she needed, so Kerry took him up on his offer.

In the past 22 years they have been around the world several times, and have mostly worked in Central America and Mexico. They have also worked in Malaysia, India, Thailand, Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Columbia, Ecuador and others!

The Dresslers incorporated their business, Bio Photo Services, Inc. so that Kerry could produce computer products and sell them on the internet. She produced a Screensaver of Costa Rican Orchids and a CD on Orchids of Coast Rica. Their web site is http://www.biophoto.com if you want to visit.

They live within 20 acres of Florida forest with a small orchard; persimmons, mulberries, peaches, plums, grapes, pears, pecans, citrus, etc. Now we know where to go for vacation. They don't have a greenhouse, they keep a few orchids in their home, but

Bob has a collection or orchids at the greenhouse at the University of Florida. That doesn't count the dozens that Bob has found exploring their estate.

We feel very fortunate to have Bob and Kerry Dressler as our featured speaker for the November meeting.


Members are welcome to bring orchids for sale to others present at the November meeting.









EDITOR - KEN GETTYS 548 - 9715



ANN CHERNY 948-7944




OSA'S greeting card designed by Natalie Warford, will be offered for sale. All boxes of cards which Keith brought to our October meeting were sold! Our cards will also be offered for sale at our November 14 & 15 Annual Show, as well as advertised in the upcoming issue of ORCHID DIGEST and THE NATIONAL GARDENER, the publication produced by the National Council of State Garden Clubs. Don't delay - get your cards before these publications are circulated throughout the country! Internet surfers will also find our cards for sale on OSA's web site.

In Addition: The fir bark order is in!!! Please call Keith Mead, (496-5762), to place an order and the 2 cu ft bags, medium or large size pieces of fir bark, will be brought to the meeting.




I believe we are going to have a great show and sale on November 14th and 15th at the Valley Garden Center. In order for us to make all the wonderful things we have envisioned become reality we need your help. Our show set up is scheduled to begin at 9:30 A.M. on Friday, November 13. If you can help us all day or a few hours it would be greatly appreciated. There will be something for everyone to help with regardless of talent or physical ability. If you have tropical "props" bring them along and don't forget your blooming plants. If you are not able to participate on Friday please consider helping with staffing during show hours, refreshments or the Sunday evening dismantling and clean up.

We have always had excellent member involvement in this annual event. I know I can count on you. Call Peggy Stejskal at 9573951 or Keith Mead at 496-5762 to volunteer.

See you there!


Keith Mead


On September 26h at 6:30 AM, 39 sleepy eyed OSA members gathered at Sky Harbor's Terminal 4 for the long awaited OSA annual field trip to the Orchid Fair held at Quail Gardens and tour of the San Diego Zoo's orchid greenhouses. There was quite a display of our new OSA tee shirts and name badges, which spiked an interest (and envy) from several travelers bound for other destinations.

When we arrived in San Diego our chartered bus was waiting to whisk us away to the first destination (the Orchid Fair at Quail Gardens). The atinosphere on board the bus was filled with excitement and anticipation as we approached the gardens and when Keith Mead and Marga Lemaire passed out envelopes containing additional orchid shopping money. As previously described in the newsletters, the amount of the trip was $115, but the actual out of pocket amount for OSA members was only $50 (OSA paid the remaining travel expenses and fees). WHAT A BARGAIN!

When the bus arrived at Quail Gardens, we received a royal red carpet by OSA's Shaffer family (including Ann & Andrew's uncle) and relatives of Julie Rathbun. OSA's headcount grew from 39 to 46, 41 members + 5 guests.

The SDOF organizers requested that a donation of nonperishable food items be given in lieu of the customary admission fee to assist the families of those who have been stricken with AIDS. That request was met with great generosity. Several OSA members 'cleaned out their pantries' and brought extra donations for those of us who forgot. There's no doubt that the food donations were greatly appreciated by the recipients.

As the OSA delegation (all 46) walked through the parking lot to the Orchid Fair area, the pace of the first timers (including myself) quickened to an Olympic record sprint after spying earlybird shoppers retuming to their cars with arms laden with gorgeous specimens. Numerous nurserymen proudly displayed a wide variety of orchids many in bloom, which caused several unnamed members who suffer from a severe case of "Orchiditis" to break out in a cold sweat and salivate profusely. There were orchids from A to Z (Ascocendas, Brassavolas, Cattleyas, ... Zygopetalums). Colors included every imaginable tone, hue and intensity. I can't adequately describe the wonderful mixture of fragrances nor the beautiftil array of colors displayed by the vendors. 'fhis event must be experienced first hand to truly appreciate the memorable sights and intoxicating aromas, as well as meeting new orchid friends.

As the departure time for the zoo neared, members were seen wrapping their treasures for the long joumey home. Armed with bubble wrap, newspaper, masking tape, boxes and bags the seasoned veterans helped the first timers wrap, pack and load. It was reported that several vendors raced after us, as we loaded the bus, in order to thank OSA members for attending (especially Peggy Stejskal and Ashley Schwimmer the big shoppers of the day). With all aboard the bus, the group proceeded to the second phase of the field trip

A tour of San Diego Zoo's greenhouses. At the main entrance of the zoo, Janette Gerrity, the greenhouse caretaker and orchid volunteers greeted the OSA delegation and escorted us to the orchid greenhouses. 'Aussie Dave' an orchid volunteer from Down Under, (who is a captain aboard a private 190 ft yacht) boasted of over 7000 orchids back home. The greenhouses are not nonnally open to the visitors of the zoo and hidden between the African Kopje and Meerkat exhibits. The zoo serves as an orchid rescue station for the U S Customs. Each greenhouse was filled to the brink with many exotic species. It was quite an impressive collection and a true honor to be able to view. OSA donated $250 to the San Diego Zoo's orchid greenhouses since the zoo's admission fee was waved for our special group.

Later that day, 39 very tired OSA members hurried to stow the orchids in overhead compartinents, under seats and any other place permitted by the flight crew, in preparation for the flight home. After a brief (4 hour and 17 minute) delay, due to mechanical trouble, our flight finally took off. Although the flight delay was inconvenient, OSA members made the best this situation. We had a great opportunity to visit and get to know each other a little bit better. It was surprising to find out that many others share more things in conunon that just the passion of orchids. Since the orchids on board the plane were inconvenienced, Carol in Customer Service at America West Airlines has arranged for 2 round trip tickets. These free tickets will be used to fly in guest speakers at OSA's future meetings.


I am sure that everyone who went on the San Diego field trip would like to thank all who took part in planning and arranging this fantastic trip. THANK YOU!

If you missed this year's field trip, mark your calendar for this event in 1999.




Wilella Stimmell


We were pleased to welcome visitors from various member garden clubs of the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs, Kristin Huisinga's parents, and others to our October 1 meeting. Kristin later reported that her presentation at our meeting provided the encouragement she needed to present her thesis work on Salvias of the Verde Valley, to general audiences. She also has begun interviewing Native American elders in the Verde Valley, to determine how present and earlier generations of Native Americans might have used Salvia. Thus far she has interviewed two Hopi elders. In an e-mail message, Kristin stated: "It (Salvia) was used by Indians in the past though they probably did not carry it into the Verde Valley. It was probably there and was subsequently used by the people there."

There was a wide variety of orchids and orchid-related items on our October raffle table. This is not unusual, but what was unusual this night was the long line of members and visitors that formed waiting to buy tickets! There were 11 divisions from possibly the world's largest Coelogyne plant! The divisions, donated by Dr. John Atwood, Director of the Orchid Identification Center, Selby Gardens, Sarasota, Florida, surely attracted many of the ticket purchasers. Dr. Atwood's personal orchid collection is "small", and we are honored that he shared one of his exquisitely well-grown plants, with us. We know that the time he has to devote to personal activities is very limited, and we appreciate the fact that he used some of that time to divide his plant for our benefit. John stated that making the divisions was " a labor of love".

Other generous raffle donations were received from the family of Bernice Ehrlich, Bob Garelick, and OSA, and from members: Pearl Bays, Joe Civello, Joe Freasier, Lou Ann Remeikis, Peggy Stejskal, Natalie Warford, and me. Thanks to all donors and ticket purchasers!

Members who were unable to attend our October meeting, but who would like a copy of the herbarium specimen preparation booklet prepared by Natalie Warford for use during the herbarium specimen preparation portion of our program, are welcome to request a opy. Special thanks is due Natalie for preparing the booklet, bringing some of her pickled specimens to our meeting, and for providing copies of herbarium specimen sheets for us to use as examples. Thanks is also due Kristin for bringing actual herbarium sheets that NAU's herbarium loaned to her for use in our program.

Many orchid societies are not interested in making herbarium specimens, yet growers flood the Orchid Identification Center with requests for identification of their plants. We hope that now that we have shown our members how simple it is to press specimens, that once or twice a year we will be able to send a collection of herbarium specimens to OIC. Dr. Atwood, Director of OIC, did not contain his excitement upon learning that OSA pressed a Galeandra species during our October meeting. He stated, "We can use all the Galeandras we can get!" If any OSA member who grows species orchids does not wish to personally press a specimen, we will do it for you! Call any OSA board member whose phone number is listed elsewhere in this newsletter! We will press the specimen for you, but your name will be listed on the note which accompanies the specimen. Keep in mind that you do NOT need to sacrifice an entire plant to make a worthwhile contribution and that living OR dead species can be pressed! PLEASE DO NOT discard species orchids that died in your custody! The information that might have made a significant contribution to science, would then be lost FOREVER.



On October 6, we presented five programs to 175 students at the Mensendick School, 5535 N. 67th Ave., in Glendale. Our first program began at 8:45 a.m. and the fifth and last program ended at 12:30 p.m. The children were 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students, and they were VERY excited to see our blooming display plants and to pot the 90 phalaenopsis seedlings which OSA purchased for the classrooms. Judging from the questions they asked us about orchids, we think we spotted at least three potential botanists! The seven OSA members who volunteered to assist with the programs were in constant motion from 8:45 to 12:30! After each program, we hauled our display plants and all potting supplies to the next classroom. The children eagerly assisted us during each relocation; however, our team really had to hustle to get everything moved so that we could start each program on time! In assembly-line fashion, we helped the children create 90 mini-greenhouses from plastic milk jugs and pot their seedlings. Special thanks to Shirley Engberg (who ran the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome after writing so many name tags for the seedlings), Jane Heckel (who took a day off from work to help with the programs), Norma Kafer (who took photos during the programs), Cathy Nelson (who also took a day off from work to help with the programs), Julie Rathbun (whose stamina impressed all of us!), and Lou Ann Remeikis (another member of the team who took a day off from work to help with the programs). Most of us were exhausted by the time we packed up our display plants and headed for home.


Betty Kiwak, one of the teachers at Mensendick and the person who had set up the schedule for our "Marathon at Mensendick", stated in an e-mail message: "I can only guess how exhausted you all were feeling. Wow! What a success! The children and teachers greatly enjoyed the programs, and we wish to thank OSA for their support." Betty had also arranged for our name to be featured prominently on the school marquee. We indeed felt "welcome"!


In our on-going record of community services presented since April, 1995, we list each location, not the number of programs presented at each location. Bearing that in mind, our record is nonetheless very impressive: in less than four years, forty-two groups located throughout Arizona have been the beneficiaries of free presentations. These programs are in addition to all of our other activities! Those of us who actively participate in the programs know that our "reward" is the satisfaction we feel from introducing adults, some physically and mentally impaired, some not, and children to the joys of growing orchids.

Those who are unable to actively participate can take comfort in the fact that the funds we use to purchase plants for our community service programs, are taken from OSA's treasury. Our treasury is healthy thanks to the combined efforts of a large number of OSA members who help through payment of membership dues, assist at our displays and sales, purchase raffle tickets, donate monies and other items, and freely give of your time and talents. Our community service is truly a group effort!








Work weekends are: November 21 & 22, 1998; December 5 & 6, 1998; January 23 & 24, 1999; February 20 & 21, 1999, Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 pm each day Volunteer creek restoration projects will include salvaging native plants in areas impacted by construction activities, deconstructing man-made structures including stone retaining walls along the creek, and reseeding and replanting areas disturbed by construction activities. Volunteers may participate in either or both of the workdays offered each weekend. Accommodations with local volunteers might be possible. Call Terri O'Brien (520) 378-2785 to sign up or for more details or e-mail Terri at: terrio@theriver.com

Native orchid populations at Ramsey have dwindled to the point that they are nearly non-existent! Mark Pretti, Naturalist at Ramsey, stated that Thurber's Bog Orchid (Habenaria limosa) and lemon lillies used to be found growing side-by-side at Ramsey. The peak bloom time for Habenaria limosa at Ramsey should have been around June 20, but this year, he did not see any blooming orchids and very few lemon lillies. When I visited Ramsey on a scouting mission in September - to determine whether an OSA field trip to the Canyon was possible for next year, I saw a few lemon lillies in bloom on the bank of a stream, but most of the vegetation was the non-native, vinca. Volunteers have worked diligently to rid the Canyon of the vinca and allow native plants to reestablish. OSA is a member of The Nature Conservancy.



At our November meeting, there will be vouchers available for a discount on a future America West flight. For those members who have not already personally requested and received their vouchers, these vouchers are for you - one per person. The vouchers are a goodwill gesture by America West - to compensate us for the inconvenience we experienced regarding our return flight from San Diego on September 26. In order to use the voucher, you will either need the passenger receipt portion (stub) of your air ticket OR if you discarded it, you may request the number of your ticket from Marga. She has all of our ticket numbers on file.


I recently received a letter from a commercial orchid grower located in Sarasota, Florida. In the letter, the owner of the nursery stated that the Arizona Department of Agriculture had recently made him aware of special regulations governing the shipment of plants into Arizona. For those who might not know, in 1995, Keith Kelly, Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture signed an Administrative Order placing ALL plant materials from 5 counties in Florida (Dade, Broward, Collier, Monroe and Palm Beach) and all of the Hawaiian islands under Brown Citrus Aphid quarantine. In November, 1996, OSA's Board of Directors lodged a formal protest with ADA requesting that the agency revisit the quarantine issue with the express purpose of excluding orchids, not a field crop in Arizona, from the quarantine. No action was taken by ADA in this regard. In the letter from the nurseryman, he states: "We do not mind complying with the agricultural laws of any state or country, so long as they are reasonable. So far, only Hawaii and Arizona require a hytosanitary inspection for each shipment. The inspection is not free, costing $30. Of course, chemicals and time it takes to dip the plants are an added the expense, with some chemicals costing over $100 per pint.


The bottom line is this: We will ship your order as before, but must secure the phytosanitary certificate as is required. You must pay for this, at cost, $30.... Right now, Arizona is going through a very strict regulatory phase. Several shipments we have made lately, even though accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, were destroyed...due to 'paper work deficiencies'."

One year ago, we noted in our newsletter that one of our members ordered orchids from a commercial grower in Florida and that his plants were returned to the grower because the shipment lacked the phytosanitary certificate verifying that the plants had been treated for Brown Citrus Aphid. We reminded our members at that time that the quarantine was still in effect and placed the reminder in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. We hope that the recent letter from the Florida grower did not allude to an OSA member! It appears now that even

if a certificate that plants in a shipment have been treated for Brown Citrus Aphid, IS included, the plants might be destroyed, or at the very least, intercepted and inspected by ADA before they are forwarded to the buyer.


Our Annual December Major Fund-Raising Auction will soon be here! It's not too early to approach businesses and request donations of items for our auction! All donations from businesses are acknowledged in our January newsletter.

Newer members who might not have heard of this fun event might like to know that many members have been gathering items all year long to donate to our auction. Some members donate plants; others donate orchid-related items, and all who attend participate in the party-like atmosphere of a live auction. Newer members probably would not have plants to donate, but participation in the friendly bidding is equally as important as are donations!

We each do what we can - NO PRESSURE! Also, we encourage all members to bring a finger food for a greatly-expanded refreshment table. Mark the date on your calendar: DECEMBER 3! Bring your friends! EVERYONE WELCOME!






Brassavola, Encyclia, and Other Genera of Mexico and Central America, by Carl Withner.

(The Caribbean species of Encyclia were described in Volume IV, and the South American

species will be included in the sixth and final volume of the series.) More than 100 species

are described in this volume, and some of them are extremely rare and known only from a few herbarium specimens.

Dr. Withner proposes in this volume that two species presently placed in the genus,

Encyclia, be transferred to a separate new genus, Euchile. He believes that the work done by Dr. Robert Dressler, a specialist in the morphology, classification, and evolution of the Orchidaceae, and other taxonomic authorities, supports his proposal.

A copy of this book will be available for viewing at our November meeting.