Category Archives: Messages to the Society

Auction and Holiday Social, December 18, 2023.

My Festive Phal.

Our annual orchid auction and holiday social will take the place of the usual meeting format on Sunday December 18, 2023. Members are asked to bring orchids and orchid-related items to be auctioned, finger foods to be enjoyed…and of course, cash to fund your auction wins! (Cheques and e-transfers also accepted.) This is always a good opportunity to pick up something new for your collection, or possibly a gift for someone on your list. Note that there will be no show table at this event but there will be a raffle for those who prefer to try another route for possibly adding an orchid to their collection. The auction takes place in room 5, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, Ontario. It starts at 2 pm, but you are invited to arrive any time after 1 pm to socialize and interact with vendors. Members and guests welcome. Masking (or not) will be in accordance with government and RBG directives and personal preferences.

General Meeting: Sunday, November 20, 2022

Ron Kaufmann – By permission

Our speaker in November will be Ron Kaufmann, chair of the American Orchid Society Conservation Committee, chair of the San Diego County Orchid Society Conservation Committee and a founding director of the Orchid Conservation Alliance. Ron has been growing orchids for more than 25 years and has travelled extensively to view orchids in the wild in Asia and South America, particularly Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia. His talk titled “Searching for Orchids in Colombia” will present highlights of a trip to look for orchids in the wild and in commercial nurseries in southwestern Colombia.

Ron is a marine biologist by training, and his scientific work includes studies of Antarctic and deep-sea ecosystems as well as marine communities in coastal Southern California. His orchid collection began with a reedstem Epidendrum and progressed to a diverse assemblage that contains mostly species orchids.

Ron has a long-standing interest in conservation and has been a member of the SDCOS Conservation Committee for nearly 25 years and chair since 2004. Since 1991, the Conservation Committee has awarded more than $260,000 to support projects in 23 different countries. Ron also helped to found the Orchid Conservation Alliance and serves on the boards of the OCA, Orchid Digest, and Fundación EcoMinga (an Ecuadorian conservation organization).

Ron grows most of his orchids in a 36 x 24 foot greenhouse and several outdoor shade-covered areas around his house in San Diego. Friends have suggested that he build a second, much larger greenhouse to accommodate the many plants that often make walking through his greenhouse an exercise requiring extensive training in gymnastics and yoga to avoid serious injury. Thus far, this recommendation hasn’t been followed, although the temptation is always there.

As usual, the meeting will take place in Room 5, RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington and will also be available via Zoom for those unable to attend in person. (Zoom invitations will be sent to members in the week preceding the meeting). The formal meeting begins at 2 pm and you are invited to arrive earlier to socialize, interact with vendors and to pick up your Catasetum seedlings if you are participating in the challenge. Masking (or not) will be in accordance with RBG and provincial guidance and personal preference.

We hope that our usual vendors will be in attendance, and we invite members to bring their orchids for the show table.

OSRBG invites members to join the Catasetum tabulare Blooming Challenge


Catasetum maculatum
Photo copyright: Bernie Butts and Chuck Lefaive
Catasetum tabulare
Photo Copyright: Sunset Valley Orchids

The AOS Montreal Judging Centre has begun a conservation project of Catasetum (Ctsm.) maculatum and Ctsm. tabulare orchids. There is an informal blooming challenge to see who can bloom either of the Ctsm. maculatum or Ctsm. tabulare first.

The Ctsm. maculatum is from the wet forests of Mexico and the Ctsm. tabulare is from the wet forests of Columbia. 

The Ctsm. tabulare was chosen by Pat Vuurman and Rob Vanderheyden for our society to grow as it appears that it does not require a dry period. Where it grows in the Chocó area of Columbia, there is no dry period. That area is said to receive up to 8,000 mm. of rain per year. Growing tabulare will not require water to be withheld starting in January until new growth appears like most others in this tribe, which will be easier for us.

They like high light, warm temperatures, and lots of water and fertilizer during their active growing period.  More information is available at http://orchidspecies.com/catatabulare.htm.

  1. There are 45 seedlings available for this challenge with a limit of one seedling per OSRBG member per household (unless there are surplus plants when all requests will be filled). People who are not members of our society will be welcome to buy plants if there is a surplus. The deadline for requesting a seedling will be November 13, 2022. 
  2. The plants are priced at $10 per seedling.
  3. Reservations can be made by contacting Rob Vanderheyden on a first come – first served basis at orchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. Plants are to be picked up when members attend the November 20, 2022 OSRBG meeting at the RBG unless other arrangements are made.
  4. Proceeds, after the cost of the seedlings, pots and moss is deducted, will be donated for conservation projects that the Orchid Conservation Alliance funds. 

 Presently, the seedlings are potted in 2″plastic posts in sphagnum moss which seems to be the preferred medium for growing Catasetinae family orchids. At the moment, they are growing in front of a patio door that faces west.

Photo credit: Rob Vanderheyden

General Meeting: Sunday October 16, 2022

Cypripedium reginae – Photo Credit Greg Warner

Have you ever thought about trying to grow Cypripediums in your garden? Or in pots? Our October speaker will give you some valuable tips on Cypripedium culture.

Greg Warner has been growing and flasking orchids (initially Paphiopedilums and Phragmipediums) for over 30 years. He was introduced to Cypripediums by his father, an avid trout fisherman, who encountered Cyp. arietinum, Cyp. parviflorum, Cyp. pubescens and Cyp. reginae in and around the streams and forests where he was pursuing this hobby. Greg began dealing in Cypripediums when reputable orchid dealers began offering them for sale, then started flasking himself. The plants he offers through his website, Abloomnaddiction.com, are seed grown from flask, never collected. Cypripediums, he tells us, are a beautiful and rewarding group of orchids (as can be seen in this photo). Some hybrids are easy to grow, while there are species that present a challenge and require special growing conditions.

OSRBG is organizing an opportunity for members to purchase from Greg’s stock and have the plants delivered for pick-up at the meeting. (Pre-orders only. No plants will be available “on spec”.) Greg suggests that you look at what’s available on website, but rather than ordering through the site, contact him directly at abloomnaddiction@gmail.com to ensure availability and make the necessary arrangements. It is recommended that you act asap and certainly before the deadline of October 11 as many plants are already spoken for.

As usual, the meeting will take place in Room 5, RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington and will also be available via Zoom for those unable to attend in person. (Invitations will be sent to members in the week preceding the meeting.) The formal meeting begins at 2 pm and you are invited to arrive as early as 1:30 to socialize and interact with vendors. Masking (or not) will be in accordance with RBG and provincial guidance and personal preference.

We hope that our usual vendors will be in attendance, and we invite members to bring their orchids in bloom for the show table.

General Meeting: Sunday September 18, 2022

Our speaker for the September meeting is Inge Poot, well-known to many of our members for her work as a Director of the Southern Ontario Orchid Society (SOOS) and as an AOS accredited Orchid Judge with Emeritus status. Inge writes that she has loved and recognized orchids since she was a small child admiring the wild orchids in her native Austria. In Canada, she earned a BSc from the University of Toronto in 1962 and completed her MSc at the same institution in 1973. Her field of study was Mycology (Fungi). She worked at Richters’ Herbs for about 30 years, the last 5 working from home answering cultural questions from customers on-line. She and her husband have been growing orchids since 1962 and now have, according to Inge “1000 to 2000 orchids scattered all over our swampy-smelling house and attached greenhouse.” They grow a diverse selection of genera, and have most examples of the genus Stanhopea. They joined SOOS in 1964 and Inge has held positions of Librarian, Show Chair and President, as well as being active in other Orchid Associations including Chair of the Mid-America Conservation Committee for 5 years .

During the recent COVID hiatus, Inge took on the job of Orchid Doctor for solving pest and disease problems for SOOS members and it is on the topic of Orchid Diseases that she will address us on September 18.

The meeting will take place in Room 5 at the RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, commencing at 2 pm, and members are invited to arrive as early as 1:30 to socialize and interact with vendors. Masking (or not) will be in accordance with RBG and provincial guidance and personal preference. For the benefit of those unable to attend in person, invitations to join via Zoom will be sent out to all members about a week before the meeting.

We hope that our usual vendors will be in attendance, and we invite members to bring their orchids in bloom for the show table.

Annual Picnic –Important Update

Due to the weather forecast of a high chance of rain and high temperatures on Sunday July 24th, the President’s Picnic has been postponed to August. Going indoors due to rain or high temperatures is not a very good option due to the COVID virus still circulating strongly. The possible dates are August 14 with a rain date of August 21. A notice for the August date will be sent to members shortly.

Annual Picnic: Sunday July 24, 2022

2013 Picnic

After a two-year hiatus, the Annual OSRBG Picnic/BBQ returns, hosted this year by Gavin and Marie. Members should have received an email with the relevant details. Please contact a member of the Executive if you did not, or if you need clarification on any point. Arrival is any time after 1 pm. Members and their significant others are invited, but please RSVP by July 21. “Basics” (hamburgers and sausages) are being provided by the Society but members are invited to bring salads, desserts etc. to supplement the menu. Plants or other orchid-related items for the raffle are appreciated. Lawn chairs are also a good idea.

AGM and Strawberry Social: Sunday June 26, 2022


We have a charged agenda for our next meeting!

  1. The AGM – Members in good standing (i.e. whose fees are paid for the period June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023) will be asked to approve the revised Constitution for the Society and to elect new Executive officers to some positions. If you need to renew your membership or if you have not previously received a copy of the proposed Constitution and are unsure who to contact, you can use the “Contact Us” feature on this website.
  2. Speaker – We will also have an opportunity to learn more about orchid culture, specifically how “Good roots grow good orchids”. Dave Miller (shown in the photo above) is the featured speaker. Dave has been growing orchids as a hobby for twenty years. He retired from the corporate Information Technology field after thirty-two years in various capacities of software support and development.  He then spent three years in the horticulture industry as a perennial plant specialist at a local regional nursery.  Dave and his wife, Mary Jo, live in Niles, Ohio USA.  He is an active member of the Greater Akron (Ohio) Orchid Society after having been President and Program Chairman.  In addition to GAOS he is also a member of the Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, the Greater Cleveland Orchid Society and the West Shore Orchid Society in Strongsville, Ohio.  Dave is a volunteer orchid advisor for Fellows Riverside Gardens of Mill Creek Metroparks in Youngstown, Ohio.  In addition, he is an accredited American Orchid Society orchid judge with the Great Lakes Judging in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he is currently the Education Coordinator.  He frequently speaks on orchid culture topics to orchid societies and garden groups. 
  3. Strawberry Social – We ask those members who can to bring treats, especially strawberry-themed treats, for us all to enjoy together as we socialize for the first time in ages. Masks are optional for this meeting in order for us to enjoy this aspect of the event. There will also be the possibility of attending the meeting via Zoom but you will have to supply your own treats 🙂 The link for the Zoom meeting will be sent to members in the week preceding the event as usual.
  4. Orchid Sales – With a return to in person meetings, we welcome back vendors who have orchids and orchid growing supplies for sale. OSRBG members are welcome to bring plants for sale or trade as well.
  5. Show Table – Due to time constraints, we will not have the traditional show table commentary. However, you are still encouraged to bring your beauties along for everyone to admire. In addition, we will have a procedure in place for everyone in the room to vote for the best orchid on the table and Pat Vuurman will say a few words about that specimen.
  6. Time and Place – This meeting will be held in Room 5, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington. The formal meeting starts at 2 pm but you are welcome to arrive any time after 1:30 to get settled and if attending on Zoom, to check the technology.

General Meeting: Sunday May 15, 2022

Title photo from Sandra Micucci

Good News!! Our May 15th meeting will be a “hybrid” meeting. Members are invited to attend in person at Room 5, RBG Headquarters, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington. For those who live too far away, or are not yet ready for an in-person event, the speaker’s talk will be streamed via Zoom. (Zoom invitations will be sent in the week preceding, as usual.) Those attending in person will be required to wear a mask and to follow any protocols in place at RBG at that time. (Check rbg.ca for details.) The meeting will start at 2 pm and you may arrive as early as 1:30 to socialize.

Our speaker for this meeting will be Sandra Micucci, an American Orchid Society student judge and a member of the OSRBG Executive Board. Sandra will be speaking about her favourite Laelinae orchid, the Rhynocholaelia digbyana. She will consider the digbyana’s taxonomy, history, habitat, culture and AOS awards. The Rhynocholaelia digbyana has been used extensively in hybridizing, especially with cattleyas. Sandra will discuss the pros and cons of this relationship and the challenge for hybridizers who strive to highlight some attributes and overcome others.

More good news! Plant sales at the meeting will be resuming. We hope that most if not all of our usual local vendors will be in attendance, and any members who wish to bring plants of their own to sell or trade are welcome to do so.

Even more good news! We’ll also be attempting a “hybrid” Show Table. Those members attending in person may bring plants in bloom to the meeting to be admired by all present. Those planning to attend via Zoom can still mail photos of their prized plants to OrchidataOSRBG@gmail.com by 6 pm on Friday May 13 to be included in the power point portion of the Show Table. One orchid per email, please, and include its name, parentage if known, and your own name.

See you there!

General Meeting: Sunday April 24, 2022

Photo courtesy of AWZ Orchids

At our April meeting we will once again go travelling (virtually) to South America. This time we will penetrate the jungles of the Amazon region of Brazil in search of orchids such as Cattleya violacea and Cattleya eldorado. Both species live close together in Amazonas State, but in rather distinct conditions. Our guide on this trip will be Alek Zaslawski, from AWZ Orchids. He will talk about the habitat, climate, tips for growing both species, and their existing colour forms.

Alek introduces himself as follows: “I was born and still live in Vitória, a coastal city and capital of Espírito Santo State. When I was young, I was surrounded by orchids at my parents’ home and they always caught my eye, but the trips with my father to see orchids in nature were what attracted me most. I simply enjoy photographing orchids in the wild. In Brazil, as well as in many other countries, it’s getting harder and harder to see them in their natural habitat. Around 1990, my father retired, and I quit my job as a mechanical engineer to start an orchid business with him. We noticed that most of the plants that were collected in the past had simply disappeared from collections. Over the years, we have built a collection with around 20,000 plants from all over the world and that now includes some of the best varieties found within many species, especially those belonging to the Cattleya alliance. AWZ produces and cultivates their orchids in two nurseries, including 5,795 square metres (just over 62,000 square feet) of greenhouses.”

Our meeting will be conducted via Zoom and invitations will be sent to OSRBG members in the week preceding the meeting. If you do not receive your invitation because of some glitch, or if you are not a member yet but would like to attend as a guest, please contact orchidataOSRBG@gmail.com. The formal meeting begins at 2 pm but the site will be available from around 1:30 pm to allow everyone to get settled and socialize a bit beforehand.

There will also be a virtual Show Table. Members with orchids in bloom may send photos to ochidataOSRBG@gmail.com by 6 pm on Friday April 22 to be included in the powerpoint. Please send only one plant per email and include its name and parentage (if known) as well as any relevant details (and your own name of course). If necessary, we may limit the number of submissions per member.