On April 9 at 7:30 PM, FCOS member Chris Ehrler will present a slide show of his visit to the recent San Francisco Pacific Orchid Exposition and the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show, along with slides from two commercial orchid nurseries in California and one in Hawaii. So, in case you missed either of the shows or are interested in commercial nurseries you will want to attend. There will be a large number of slides showing the wide variety of different orchid species and hybrids on display. There will not be a speaker dinner.
FCOS was pleased to have Jason Fischer from Plymouth, Minnesota, as their March speaker. Jason and his dad Jerry own and operate Orchids Limited. Their nursery has 4 greenhouses with 15,000 square feet of growing space, a shade house, and laboratory. Jason began working in the nursery at 5 year of age and by 13 was involved with tissue culture at the nursery. Jason's topic for the evening was Hybrids made using Phragmipedium kovachii. P kovachii was discovered in 2000 and became an instant hit with growers and breeders due to its very large size. The flowers are usually 18-19 cm in width with a few up to about 21 cm wide. Flasks of this species were introduced into the US in 2004. The pollen is large and can be split into a number of parts to use in pollination. This species can self pollinate. So far the best shaped flower was named Tesoro Morado. Jason has found that they grow well in diatomaceous earth but said that it is no longer available. They are currently using a combination of peat (50%), pine bark (20%), sponge rock (20%), and small diatomite (10%). Jason showed a lot of slide of both the species and many hybrids made with P kovachii. This species is generally a fast grower, although it takes 7-10 years to bloom, and the larger the plant the more blooms you will get. Blooms last about 3 weeks and then they fall off even though they still look good. They do best under intermediate conditions with the low temperatures at night being in the high 50s. They are growing this species and hybrids in semi-hydroponic conditions with a system he referred to as 'ebb and flow' for mature the Phragmapediums. In their system they flow water around the base of the pots for one (1) hour every day. This keeps the media moist but also allows there to be a high oxygen level around the roots. He stated that seedlings will grow better at a light level of about 300 while mature P kovachii grow better at a level of 600-700.
"I think huge thanks should go out to all the members who volunteered for the preview and the show. Peggy and Bonnie did a wonderful job putting together teams of worker bees each day who made the show itself run very smoothly. BIG Bouquets of Orchids to all those who participated!!" – Barb Walsh
"Everyone seemed to love the weekend caterer. She said she had a great time and everyone was wonderful." – Bonnie Werring
A few shots from the FCOS Show. Wait till you see the ones Chris took!!!!