October 2016

As I am writing this we are in the middle of our normal fall heat wave. I heard it was 93 degrees in Shell Beach yesterday and it is supposed to be hotter today. Hopefully you kept your orchids happy during this hot period. Our speaker at last month's meeting Sandy Svoboda, the current Editor in Chief of Orchid Digest, stated that this year's last issue would be on the group of orchids in the sub-tribe Catasetinae. That issue will be out in October but if you sign up as a member of Orchid Digest by December 1 of this year your first issue will be that one. If you decide you want a copy of that issue after December 1, it will cost you $35. The main article will be by Fred Clarke and will be about breeding within this group and will contain over 150 pictures of species and hybrids. There will also be articles about culture, the catasetums growing in Brazil, and a chart showing were the Latin American catasetums are found in the wild. Sounds like a great issue so you might consider subscribing to Orchid Digest prior to December 1. Below center is the cover of that issue.

Also, you might be interested in the World Orchid Conference which will be held November 8-13, 2017 in Ecuador. Ecuador is relatively small in size but has over 4,000 different orchid species. Within the county there are habitats from the Amazon jungle to the high Andes Mountains. Because it is on the equator it has 13 hour of sunlight every day plus hundreds of different micro-climates that contribute to the orchid biodiversity. I am sure the orchid displays will be outstanding. The conference has also scheduled and pre- and post-conference trips through the country to see orchids in their native environment. There are a few FCOS members that have expressed an interest in possible attending the conference and tours so if you decide to go you will see some familiar faces. More information can be found at http://www.woc22.com/. The Orchid Conservation Alliance also has a post-conference tour scheduled but it is limited to only 14 participants. If you want to go with this tour, you will need to sign up sooner than later. Once it is full you will not be able go with them.

Hope to see you are the October meeting. Chris

James Ph. Kotsybar is an orchid grower, hybridizer and fully accredited judge of the American Orchid Society. He co-owns Chaotic Exotics Nursery outside in the Santa Rita Hills ----Santa Barbara County’s wine region.

He and his partner specialize in a wide array of unusual orchids.   Their primary focus is on orchid species and hybrids especially Paphiopedilums. Their hybrid “slippers” have been awarded and are trophy winners. Their approach to business is a loving one.   They believe the beauty of the plants in which we deal demands this.  “ Our real motivation is a desire to share our true enthusiasm for these wonders of creation.”  Jim’s extensive knowledge of orchids and involvement in the orchid world has led him to be certified as an AOS judge.

His slide presentation will focus on Orchid IQ – General Orchid Trivia

According to the American Orchid Society one of the top signs of a healthy orchid society is having a show. Attendance has been on the decline the past several years at our show. The show committee is asking the FCOS membership for their suggestions on how to better promote the show as well as any thoughts they might have to freshen up our efforts to increase attendance. We really need help with social media. The committee works year round putting together the show. Now is the time for us to entertain your ideas and/or skills so we are able to implement them in a timely manner for the upcoming 22nd annual show this April. Let's keep our society healthy and our show alive. With your help we look forward to continuing to be "the best little show in California." Please let us hear from you at this meeting.

Barb Walsh

Sandy Svoboda was our guest speakers. Her topic was Treasures of the Thunder Dragon: Orchids of Bhutan. Sandy’s presentation left no doubt with her audience of her love for this Himalayan mountain kingdom. Just 18,146 sq. mi with a population of 700,000 it is a wealthy country thanks to plant and hydroelectricity sales. Since people all over Asia are eating a lot of orchids, the focus is on ecological happiness. When it became a constitutional monarchy in 2007, the people needed to learn how to vote. Its national sport is archery.

Sandy had spectacular slides to show us. She had the plants grouped by species which made it easy to follow her talk. Her favorite were Coelogyne but she also had an amazing variety of cymbidiums, dendrobiums, phaps, phals, etc. She noted 369 species in Bhutan with 14 species being endemic to that country. 

october 2016 nlIn this close up photo we can see how the orchid roots love to grow along and cling to the tree bark. Other than terrestrial orchids, this is how orchids grow. Growing in a pot must seem strange to the plant in comparison. This particular tree, with its craggy bark, is a classic spot for a happy orchid. We can see how the roots follow the uneven surface, finding support and water among the crevices. Orchid roots grown in a pot are round but mounted they flatten to grasp the mount.

The classic mount for orchids is cork which is available in plaques of varying sizes. Some orchids, particularly those with thin roots such as Oncidium are fond of tree fern mounts and we see their roots growing all the way through them. A branch from a tree that has been trimmed can make a good mount; we really like to set an orchid in the crook of a branch when possible. Wood slat plaques look something like the flat bottom of a vanda basket and can be used either as a vertical or horizontal mounts.