December 2015

xmas bells 01December 10 will be our traditional SilentAuction and Potluck Meeting.  The club will furnish the meat. Bring a main dish, vegetable dish, salad, or dessert to share. Bring your own plate and utensils, and a drink if you wish.  (Non-alcoholic).
The Silent Auction is our club's big fund raiser.  Bring in any orchids you wish to donate to the club so other members can bid on them and provide them with a new home.   Fill out a bid sheet for each plant before the meeting (or at the meeting, we’ll have extras) describing the plant's outstanding characteristics and its cultural requirements.  (Also, any photos you might have of the flowers really help plants sell.)  We also welcome any other items we can auction off that would be of interest to our bidders.   Secondly, bring lots of money to bid on the auction plants.

Remember, 6:30 PM start time.  Come at 6:00 to help set up.

Larry and Eric conspired to put a nice tabletop display in the Orchid Society of Santa Barbara's Fall  Show,  November 21 - 22 at the Museum of Natural History. The big news was Eric won Best of Show with a glorious specimen of Cirropetalum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry'  (FCC/AOS).   Hopefully he will bring the plant to our potluck so all can enjoy it.


Dear Five Cities members:

Our society is an active chapter that depends upon a team of volunteers who plan the general direction, activities and special events. If you were at the last meeting, you know that the present term will end soon. We need volunteers to be active members of the leadership team. Even if you think you are not fully qualified; there is plenty of support to assist new officers. If you have questions please feel free to talk with any of our officers. Let’s continue to be the outstanding orchid society on the Central Coast.

The FCOS speaker for November, 2015 was Jim Kotsybar who owns Chaotic Exotics in Lompoc, CA. His title for the evening was "A Poet's perspective on Orchid Evolution". He began by mentioning that orchid blooms have marking that are invisible to the human eye that pollinators can see, as they are in the UN light spectrum. Bulb nodosum has invisible spots that can be generally seen in hybrids made using this species. Oncidium Gower Ramsey has many blooms that when moving by the wind are seen by bees as something they want to attack and in the process pick up pollen or pollinate the next bloom they encounter. He referred to this as pseudo-aggression. Jim showed a few slides of an orchid whose genetics had been modified by inserting genes from a firefly so the blooms and leaves would produce light when the orchid was in the dark. He also mentioned that Spanish moss was a relative of the bromeliads and blooms around Mother's Day.


The experts say orchids are epiphjytes or lithophytes but they are parasites. They suck all the money out of your wallet.

How do you get one hundred orchids in bloom at any one time?
Start with a thousand....


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  1. In many areas it's getting chilly outside, especially at night, and now is the time to think about bringing in those orchids that have summered outside. Planning ahead can make this transition easier for all.

  2. Orchids need natural cues to let them know it is time to set their bloom spikes. Phals in particular need to experience the chill in the air of early fall. Leave the window open a crack in the evening when possible. Many orchids need to experience the shortening days and lengthening nights. Beware of night lights and supplemental lighting that we have in our homes as they rob the orchids of this important cue. Decrease fertilization back to winter levels (weakly, weekly). These three important signals, changes in temperature, light and food, are beneficial.

  3. Repot summer bloomers such as Doritis, Doritaenopsis, Encyclia, Miltonia, Miltonopsis, Massdevalia, late-blooming Phalaenopsis & Stanhopea when they go out of bloom. Repot seedlings, especially Phalaenopsis seedlings, now that the active summer growth time is done