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May 2018
Volume 71, Issue 10

About the May Meeting

Disa uniflora
"The Pride of Table Mountain"

May 14, 2018       7:00 p.m.

University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street
Seattle, WA 98105


Orchid Basics

Presentation is an important part of enjoying your orchid blooms.  So this month's session will be a demonstration of various techniques to stake your orchid flower stems.  Cylvia Grantham, Diane Drisch and Mike Foster will show a number of different staking methods.


Speaker: Walter Orchard, "Disas of the Western Cape, South Africa"


Our May speaker, Walter Orchard, will delight us with the fantastic Disas from South Africa.  He will have some Disa plants for sale at the meeting, so get ready to learn about something different.

Walter Orchard hails originally from South Africa. He became interested in Disas through his father, who grew them successfully near Cape Town.

In 1992 he and his wife Christine left South Africa and settled in the state of Washington. In 2007 they retired to Yachats on the central Oregon coast where the local climate and water supply are ideal for Disa growing. Walter’s Disa collection is hosted by Jim Rassmann, in nearby Florence.

When not tending to his orchids he can be found fixing trails around Yachats, pulling invasive weeds, playing bridge or baking artisan bread. 
E-mail: worchard@peak.org    Website: https://afrodisa.weebly.com/


Display Table:

Bring your blooming Orchids so everyone can enjoy them.


Sales Table:
Members may bring up to 10 plants to sell.  Include an extra tag with your name and the price in the plant.


The raffle will be held as usual.  Win a new orchid for your collection while supporting the Scholarship Fund.


NWOS Library: 

If you'd like to check out a book or tape from our Library, please contact our Librarian Joe Grienauer a minimum of 2 weeks before the next meeting.  Besides email, you can give Joe your request at any meeting.  For a list of library items Click on the Library link at the top left of this page or click HERE.

Oregon Orchid Society Show a Success

The Oregon Orchid Society Show and Sale was held April 21-22. The layout of the show was different this year as the host society's display was divided into several smaller table displays on round tables. Judges and the public were able to see all the plants up close, and related genera tended to be clustered on the same table. This format had the aesthetic appeal of traditional orchid displays with some of the practical advantages of a bench show. The Cherry City Orchid Society (Salem OR) had a very nice display, as did the Portland Orchid Society and also Oscar Allen Nursery whose display featured bromeliads as well as orchids. In general, the quality of plants in the displays was exceptional.

Our own display included 35 plants from 6 members. Allan Kaas' Jumella sagittata was AOS nominated. Lillian Otani sent three large Cymbidiums including a gorgeous red (Cym. Rolf Bolin) that won "Best Cymbidium in Show." Lilian attended the show on Sunday and assisted with teardown. Thank you Lillian! Also sending plants were Mike Foster and Donna Pierce, Mike Pearson and Abigail Chang, Joff Morgan and Cylvia and I. Thanks to all the above and to all other members who have generously loaned their plants for displays during this past year.

This was the last show of the season that will include an NWOS display. The next show that we are planning to attend is the Tri Cities show in Kennewick on October 6-7. A month later we will be displaying in our own show at Swanson's Nursery. Please let me know if you would like to help with displays in either of these events.

George Grantham, 2nd Vice President                    Photos: George and Cylvia Grantham

NWOS display at the Oregon Orchid Society Show Jumellea sagittata, Allan Kaas
AOS nominated
Bifernaria harrisonae, Allan Kaas
These flowers are short lived so it was
lucky they were in bloom for the show
Cymbidium Rolf Bolin, Lilliam Otani
"Best Cymbidium Orchid in Show"

Membership Renewal Reminder


Unless you joined since July 1, it's time to renew your membership.  The NWOS membership year now goes by calendar year.  During this transition year it will go from July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018 (18 months).  You can pay at most meetings by cash, check, or debit/credit card.  You can mail a check (payable to NWOS) to PO Box 51021, Seattle, WA 98115-1021.  You can also pay online using Paypal on our Membership page at http://newsletter.nwos.org/membership.  New members should complete the Membership Form.


Dues are $30 for one person or $40 for two people at the same address.  We also have a Youth membership of $15 for one person aged 22 or under.  Dues are kept low to encourage membership but they cover only a small portion of the society's expenses.

Each single, youth and dual membership person will be considered an individual full-fledged member entitled to all privileges and benefits of the society (voting, Christmas plants, etc.).


Please contact Mike Cory for questions about your dues.

The Summer Doldrums   

How to Care for Orchids During the Wilds of Summertime
By Ron McHatton with Photographs by Greg Allikas
From the May 2012 issue of Orchids Magazine

SUMMER PRESENTS CHALLENGES in the form of increased pest activity, fungal and bacterial problems in traditionally wet areas and desiccation in those areas with Mediterranean-like climates where summers are typically quite dry. Careful observation of your plants is the best way to identify small problems before they become big problems, and in the summer, the time between these two events is dramatically shorter due to higher temperatures.

PEST CONTROL For small collections, the best thing to do is to physically wipe insects of and clean the plant. Isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab are effective against most pests and if you want to increase its effectiveness, a drop of Ivory dishwashing liquid added to the alcohol helps wet the typically waxy surface of orchid leaves. If you haven't been watching carefully and the infestation gets out of control, you might have to use chemicals. Few pesticides are specifically rated for use on orchids, but you can use any that are labeled for ornamentals. Use care and follow the label directions. This is not a situation where if a little is good, more will be better.

In areas with dry summers, mites can be a serious problem, especially on phalaenopsis. These creatures attack the surface of the leaves producing a sort of rough silvery appearance. Mites are not insects and insecticides offer little or no control. Mites do not like humid conditions so efforts to increase humidity are beneficial. Light infestations can be controlled by thoroughly cleaning plants but in hot, dry climates light infestations rapidly become serious and control is best accomplished by the use of a miticide.

In areas with wet summers, wet foliage and high humidity encourage the spread of fungal and bacterial diseases. Bacterial diseases do not respond to fungicides and vice versa so it’s important to know which disease you are dealing with. Perhaps the easiest way to distinguish between the two is by smell. The most common bacterial disease in orchids produces a foul smell often likened to dead fish. If you’ve ever had cut flowers stand too long in water, you know the sort of smell we’re talking about.

Diseases can spread quickly. Bacterial diseases kill plants especially rapidly and time is of the essence. Both bacterial and fungal diseases are spread by splashing water, and this includes rainfall. Use a clean cutting tool such as a single-edge razor blade, cut off the infected tissue as well as at least an inch (2.5 cm) of clean, green area and then treat the cut surface with a fungicide. Even if the problem is bacterial, you don’t want a fungal infection to start in the wound. Cinnamon — the common spice — is effective against fungal diseases and can be used to coat the cut surface. It’s perhaps not

Scale, particularly Boisduval scale illustrated on this cattleya plant, is a serious pest on orchids. Dried pseudobulb sheaths should be removed at repotting to inspect for these insects.

as effective as a chemical fungicide but it's readily available and does work.

Where it’s wet, keep your plants as dry as possible. Alternatively, provide a lot of air movement. When you water, try to do so as early in the day as possible. This will allow adequate time for the foliage to dry before nightfall.

In dry-summer areas, the bane of orchid growers is extremely low humidity, and this leads to two issues. The first of these is an increase in the rate at which plants dry out and the other is the ever-presence of mites.

Orchids in dry-summer areas dry out much more rapidly than they did in the winter. Depending on temperature, plants watered every two weeks in the winter may need to be watered every few days in the summer. Here again, nothing will take the place of careful observation. If you have an extensive collection of plants, you might want to consider installing a misting system similar to those used in open-air restaurants in dry areas. Low-pressure units that install on hose lines are inexpensive and work reasonably well to raise humidity as well as cool the growing area somewhat.

SUMMER SUN How does sun affect orchids? Solar radiation is much more intense in the summer and plants that have been thriving in full sun all winter may need a little extra protection (shade) when the sun is at its strongest or, often during the late afternoon, when the temperatures are highest. Orchids are easily sunburned and you should take care when moving plants around, especially if you are moving plants grown inside during the winter to a spot outside for the summer. Sunburn, while not in itself a serious problem is irreversible and will make your plants look ugly. In serious cases the plant can be killed outright and any leaf damage is an invitation to a secondary infection in the damaged area.

Orchid foliage should be a light yellow-green. The first sign of too much light is often yellow foliage. If left alone, this yellow foliage will eventually turn white and then dark brown and dry as the sunburned area dries out. If the problem is caught before the chlorophyll has been completely destroyed it is often possible to reverse the damage. Once white spots or sunken areas have appeared, the damage is irreversible and the best thing one can do is stop further progression with more shade.

Sudden increases in light levels will burn orchid
foliage as illustrated here on this Bifrenaria
harrisoniae leaf. While small sunburned spots
aren't really detrimental to the plant, they are
unsightly and remain for the life of the leaf.
The damage to these hybrid cattleya leaves
is heat stress and not sunburn. At high
enough temperatures the leaf tissue is killed, resulting in the collapse illustrated here.

CAPITALIZING ON THE HIGH-GROWTH SEASON Because of increased light and temperatures, your plants will benefit from more fertilizer (increased frequency, not concentration). This is especially true for those varieties that put out new growth during this time. Avoid fertilizers that contain significant amounts of urea (formulations with more than 20 percent nitrogen). Urea nitrogen is much less readily available to orchids in soilless mixes than ammoniacal and nitrate forms.

Plants will also dry out faster. To avoid root damage, water plants before fertilizing; the roots will be wet and less easily damaged by the salts in the fertilizer solution.

If you grow your plants inside during the cooler months, moving them outside for the summer is often beneficial and your plants will respond with renewed vigor. Remember, make the transition slowly. Place them under heavy shade for a few days, then somewhat less shade for a few days and then move them to their summer homes, paying attention to the color of the foliage. You'll be glad you did.

News from the American Orchid Society

Make sure to check out the new Digital Archive Search available for Orchids magazine! As an AOS member, with access to past issues, you are now able to search over 2,050 articles by date ranges and key word. It’s so useful to be able to quickly locate info on a specific species or to find that article you read and wanted to go back to when you can’t quite remember which issue it was in.

Make sure to catch AOS President, Susan Wedegaertner’s, message in the May issue of Orchids. She shares well deserved honors awarded to several people who have contributed on the national level.

The American Orchid Society is an organization that runs on its generous volunteers and a very small number of paid staff. NWOS society members can participate at the national level for anything from project work to full committee participation. Look at the list of National Volunteer Committees listed in Orchids magazine to find a list of all committees you might be interested in and their contact e-mails. Just drop them a line. They’re a great group of people and always looking for new volunteers and fresh ideas.  The Affiliated Societies Committee always welcome AOS members to join us. If you’d like to join us you can reach us at affiliated_societies_committee@aos.org.

Remember to check out http://www.aos.org/orchids/kids-corner.aspx recap for more ideas and suggestions for Kid’s activities and ideas for making a Kids’ Corner of your own at your next orchid show. All it takes is some crafty people, some loving volunteers and a table. The activities can all be created easily. See other articles for instructions on how to create the activities we’ve tested out or make up your own great activities. Please share your ideas and experiences with the education Committee at sstubbings@comcast.net.

Thanks for all the pics that you are sending in for the Instagram feed. Our Instagram Administrator, Candace Hollinger, sends her appreciation to you all. It’s wonderful to see such a variety of everything orchid that’s enjoyed around the globe. The AOS would love our pics of how we grow, what’s blooming now or anything we love about orchids. Please continue to send your photos and short videos to: americanorchidsociety@gmail.com. Be sure to send a short caption explaining your photo. Also, if you are bilingual and can include your caption in English plus your other language(s)—it will help with our universal outreach.

Remember to check-in on our Facebook Group Page for Affiliated Societies of the American Orchid Society. Let us know how your show went and what was successful for you or what didn’t quite make the mark. We always help each other by sharing. Our administrator, Chad Brinkerhuff, monitors the feed and is a great resource for all that the AOS has to offer. Keep us up to date on what’s going on at your local society and let us know how we can help you.

It’s easy to find the scheduled webinars and to register on the AOS website. You’ll find the link under the All About Orchids tab. If you check there, you will find any webinars that have been scheduled after the production of the monthly Corner.

American Orchid Society: Greenhouse Chat with Ron McHatton
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 @ 8:30 PM–9:30 PM EST              Open to all

Please join Ron McHatton, American Orchid Society Director of Education and Science Officer, who will discuss a variety of topics on orchid culture based on questions submitted by attendees. Please send you questions to stillisch@cox.net by Sunday, May 13th.
Register now using this link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3940385080263812610

Note: After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the seminar.

WHAT ARE WEBINARS? Webinars are an Internet conference where you can hear the speaker and view his presentation, ask questions, and hear interactions from other members of the audience. You can join either on your computer or by phone. You can join from anywhere, via your Mac, PC or even your mobile device. Audio is included, so attendees can phone in or use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). You will need a microphone for your computer to use VoIP.

Paphiopedilum sanderianum 'HOF Best' AM/AOS; Photographer: Glen Barfield

WANT TO LEARN, BUT CAN’T MAKE THE DATE? The live webinars will be recorded and posted on the AOS website, where you will find a link allowing you to view the webinars at your convenience.


• Genus of the Month - Rhynchostele
• Orchids Illustrated - Vanilla
• The New Refugium Botanicum: Lycaste tricolor
• For the Novice - Citric Acid for pH adjustment of High-Alkalinity Water
• The Cypripediums of the United States and Canada, Part 1 - The parviflorum Complex
Dendrobium bigibbum, Part 4: Recent Hybrids with Section Latouria
Paphiopedilum sanderianum

Bulbophyllum Meen March Madness 'Sister Jean' AM/AOS; Photographer: Irma Saldaña

Join the AOS

We want to sweeten the deal and give you every possible reason to join AOS today! If you become an American Orchid Society member, you have considerably more resources at your disposal making growing orchids even more enjoyable and successful.

Plus your get Digital Access To Over 350+
past issues of Orchids magazine extending back to 1932!

Rhyncholaeliocattleya First Class 'Strawberry Milk' AM/AOS; Photographer: H. A. Russell III


16-page award gallery of breath taking pictures of recently awarded orchids.

See fabulous pictures of the most breathtakingly beautiful orchids receiving awards from the AOS! Visit the new “Latest Orchid Awards” page on the AOS website to enjoy these stunning photographs! Click on the thumbnails to see them in larger format. Free to members and non-members.

Let’s grow together,
Denise Lucero, Vice-Chair, AOS Membership and Affiliated Societies

Report from the April Meeting

Brenda Oviatt


Michael Cory began our meeting with his Orchid Basics talk

about Jay Pfahl's Orchid Encyclopedia Website (http://www.orchidspecies.com/) a great place to learn about over 22,000 orchid species.  Our president, Abigail Chang, then welcomed new people and visitors.  Joe G. spoke about the library. Mike Foster has agreed to be our Show Chair and asked for our help.  We still have a couple of Board positions open for Volunteers.  Georg G. gave a report about the recent shows at other societies.  He also called on all of us to give him nominations for the upcoming Gary Baker Award.


Mike Foster introduced the evening's speaker, Brenda Oviatt from Botanica Ltd, in Missoula, MT.  Her talk entitled "Angraecoid Orchids - Keeping a Piece of Nature Alive" began with a good description and understanding of the conditions in their native habitat.  These plants are in danger in their native lands due to poverty, loss of habitat, extinction of their insect pollinators, not just the loss of the actual orchid plants.  She and others are working hard to provide ex-situ conservation of as many Angraecoids as possible.


The second half of her very well-done and interesting talk reviewed the best growing practices for these monopodial, Vandaceous and very highly evolved group of orchids.  She discussed their dormancy, their temperamental roots, how to repot or mount them and their preferred growing conditions.  She encouraged each of us to choose a species or geographic region to adopt and grow plants in order to conserve them for the future.


Joe Grienauer reviewed the plant table.                           Photos: Diane Drisch

Brenda helps with choosing
the right plant
getting ready
checking out the plant table during break Brenda likes taking Mike's
money as much as he seems
 to enjoy handing it over
setting up the plant table Joe G. and plant table
Angraecum viguieri x self
Chiloschista viridiflava   Microterangis hariotiana
'Big Sky Tamarin'
Cirr.Elizabeth Ann  
Showing a great Phrag. Phrag. warscewiczianum 'Botanica's Rapunzel'
Phragmipedium wollisii 'Marisa's Maypole'  



Editor's Note:  More photos will be placed here over the next day or so. 
Please check back and refresh your browser to see the images. 
When this note is gone, the newsletter is complete.


Schedule of Upcoming Events


May 14, 2018 - NWOS meeting - Speaker:  Wally Orchard, "Disas of the Western Cape, South Africa"


June 11, 2018 - NWOS meeting - Annual Meeting, Gary Baker Service Award and Potluck Dinner

Reminder for Officers & Board Members


The schedule of Board Meetings for this membership year is: 5/8/18, 7/ ?? /18, 9/4/18, 11/6/18.  Meet at 7 p.m. at Mike & Sheila Cory's house unless notified that it's been moved elsewhere.

Shopping on Amazon?  Use this link to Earn $$ for NWOS


If you go to http://smile.amazon.com and sign in to your account, you'll be given information about supporting various non-profits.  You can type in "Northwest Orchid Society" and it will then send .5% of your purchase price to the organization.


It's really easy, but you have to remember to go in through the 'smile' subdomain when you place the order, otherwise it will go through as a regular order.

NWOS Website Links

Special Announcements


No Special Announcements this month.                  ©2018 Northwest Orchid Society