General Meeting: Sunday June 13, 2021

Dr. Kristen Uthus with her husband Dr. Kevin Wehrly and sons Henry and Gus

Honey, I shrunk the orchids! This is the engaging title for our talk at the June 13th meeting by Dr. Kristen Uthus, who says “Eventually everyone runs out of room for more orchids—unless they’re really small. While their size intimidates some people, miniatures are just as tough as their larger relatives. What makes them so appealing is their variety of form in addition to flower, and they are just plain cute! The fact that they take up so little space means that you can have a lot of different kinds of orchids in a limited area. Bigger definitely is not better.”

Dr. Uthus studied both plant and animal ecology and evolution at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the Ohio State University (OSU). She then taught biology and ecology at several colleges including VCU, OSU, University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. The daughter of a plant fanatic, Kristen has been growing orchids for over 20 years, and in 2014 she fulfilled her dream of making orchids a full-time commitment by purchasing NWO (New World Orchids). Although she enjoys growing many varieties of orchids, miniatures remain her passion. She and her family, pictured above, live in Manchester, MI, about an hour west of Detroit.

In addition to learning about miniature orchids, OSRBG members in attendance at this meeting will be invited to vote for the 2021-2023 Executive as this is also the OSRBG Annual General Meeting. Members are thus strongly urged to attend.

The meeting, as has become the norm, will take place via Zoom, with invitations being sent out in the week previous to the meeting. If you have not received yours, please contact The meeting begins at 2 pm (Eastern Daylight Saving Time) with doors opening, so to speak, at 1:30 for those wishing to get settled and socialize with others. Potential guests may also request an invitation by contacting

General Meeting: Sunday May 16, 2021

Our May 16th meeting will be a two-part programme. In Part 1 our speaker will be Sandra Micucci. She will talk about the Angraecum sesquipedale and how it came to be called Darwin’s orchid. Many of us have heard only the bare bones of the story; Sandra will take us back to Madagascar in 2004 with Dr. Philip DeVries of the University of New Orleans to witness the exciting proof of Charles Darwin’s 1862 prediction that an insect pollinator existed with a proboscis long enough to suck the nectar from the nectary of the Angraecum sesquipedale. It was with this observation that Darwin argued his coevolution model.

Sandra is known to OSRBG members for her role on the Executive Board of our Society. You may NOT know that Dr. Micucci is an Epidemiologist, specialized in evidence-based medicine. She retired from her position as Associate Director of the Evidence-based Medicine Centre at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee in 2010 and returned to Canada, where she and her husband Andrew started an engineering company in Brantford. Although company business takes a good portion of her time, Sandra developed an interest in orchids and joined the OSRBG in 2013. Last year she was accepted as an AOS student judge. Sandra is interested in many genres of orchids, but orchids of Madagascar and especially Angraecoid orchids are quickly becoming her favourites.

Clowesia Afterglow ‘B-C II’ AM/AOS
Photo by Rob Vanderheyden

In Part 2 the speaker will be Rob Vanderheyden, our current Vice-President, Orchidata editor and Zoom-master. Rob will give his presentation on how he grows orchids from the Catasetinae family and cool growing orchids at home. Rob’s presentation has been deferred twice due to a lack of time and we are looking forward to finally hearing from him and seeing photos of his growing area. Rob bought his first Catasetum in February 2018 at the OSRBG show and his Catasetum collection has grown to about 68 plants since then!

As usual, the meeting will take place via Zoom, with invitations being sent automatically to OSRBG members. Potential guests (or anyone with questions about this process) may contact Rob Vanderheyden at The meeting starts at 2 pm (Eastern daylight saving time); doors will be open, so to speak, at 1:30 for those who want to get settled and socialize a bit in advance.

There will also be a virtual show table. Members should send photos of their blooms to by 7 pm on Friday May 14 so that they can be put into a powerpoint. Please include the name of the orchid and its parentage (if known), as well as your name and any remarks you wish to make about it.

General Meeting: Sunday April 18, 2021

Photo credit: Eric Sauer: Maxillaria saueri

Our speaker for the April 18th meeting will be Eric Sauer from River Valley Orchids in Ohio and he will be presenting on the topic of Maxillaria. Eric has spoken to our Society before, but here is a quick review of his bio to refresh your memory: Eric has been growing orchids for 30 years and specializes in South American Species.   He has several of his Maxillaria photos published in Eric Christenson’s book on Maxillaria.   Eric has received over 85 awards from the American Orchid Society and has three orchids named after him including two species from Ecuador.  He regularly works with other Maxillaria aficionados around the world to better understand the genus. Eric’s real job is as a registered landscape architect and is the planning manager for Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, Ohio.

As has become the norm, our meeting will be held via Zoom, and as usual, members will receive an invitation during the week prior to the meeting. Non-members who wish to attend may request an invitation by contacting The formal meeting begins at 2 pm (Eastern time zone, DST) but the doors will be open, so to speak, around 1:30 for those who wish to get settled and socialize in advance.

There will also be a virtual Show table. Members can send photos of their orchids in bloom to before 7 pm on Friday April 16. Please include the name of the orchid and its parentage (if known) as well as your own name and any pertinent remarks about the plant and its culture.

General Meeting: Sunday March 28, 2021

Our March meeting will be a continuation, in a sense, of the January meeting which was very well-received. This time, Sandra Micucci, Rob Vanderheyden and Wendy Hearder-Moan will present photos of their orchid-growing areas and answer questions about their techniques and challenges. (The above photo is a sneak-preview of one of Rob Vanderheyden’s spaces.) This is a Zoom meeting, of course, and members will be receiving an invitation via email. Prospective guests should contact the Society at to find out about obtaining an invitation. The formal meeting starts at 2 p.m. and doors will open, so to speak, around 1:30 for members to get settled and socialize a bit before the meeting.

There will also be a virtual Show Table. Send your photos of orchids in bloom to by 7 pm on Friday March 19 to allow time for the power point to be assembled. Be sure to include your name and the name of the orchid, and if you like, some information about its parentage or how you grow it.

Memories of 2020 Orchid Show

If there were no pandemic, we would be setting up our show at the RBG about now with all the busy-ness that that entails. Here’s a google picture album that Rob Vanderheyden put together last year with the help of Pat Vuurman:
Enjoy the memory and let’s hope that next year will be better and we can set up and hold a show again.

General Meeting: Sunday February 21, 2021

Jason Fischer with Phragmipedium Jason Fischer

Our February meeting, taking place via Zoom (as has become the norm) is a joint meeting with the Central Ontario Orchid Society (COOS) and the featured speaker will be Jason Fischer of Orchids Limited. His topic is one on which he is an acknowledged expert: Phragmipediums.

The meeting is set to begin at 2 pm. Those who wish to do so may sign on a bit earlier (1:30 or later) to socialize. Members with plants for the Virtual Show Table should send their photos by 6 pm on Friday February 19 to Rob Vanderheyden at

Zoom invitations will be sent out to members the week before the meeting. Non-members who may wish to attend should contact Rob at the address above.

General Meeting: Sunday January 17, 2021

Our January 17th OSRBG meeting will feature glimpses into how some of our members grow orchids. Linda Will, Daniel Scher, Sandra Micucci, Wendy Hearder-Moan, and Rob Vanderheyden will present about how they grow the orchids in their collections, with photos and commentary. There will be time with each presentation to ask questions. As usual, we will have our Virtual Orchid Show Table. If you have orchids blooming now, send photos with identifying information (and how you grow, if you like) to Rob at by 7 p.m. on Friday January 15th. As has become customary, the meeting will take place via Zoom, with an invitation being sent to members a week or so in advance. The formal meeting starts at 2 pm and Rob will “open the doors” around 1:30 for those who wish to sign on early to socialize.

General Meeting: Sunday December 20, 2020

Photo credit: Wendy Hearder-Moan

In the interest of coming as close as we can to a fun atmosphere such as we have had  at our in-person December meetings, this Zoom meeting will be a social event, with an opportunity for members to engage in conversation, to the extent possible. We encourage everyone to wear their festive togs and to have some Christmas treats and a preferred libation on hand for the meeting!

As usual at our Zoom meetings, we will have our virtual Orchid Show Table. Members may send in photos of plants that are in bloom in the month of December. Please include the ID information when you send in the photos to Rob Vanderheyden at To allow for as many members as possible to participate, we might have to limit the number of plants a member may show if there are lots of photos. However, this will be an expanded version of the Show Table. While Pat Vuurman will provide his usual informed commentary, we hope that members will also chime in to add some information about their plants and how they have grown them.

We are encouraging members, as well, to share how things are going while living through the Covid-19 pandemic and/or how your orchids have been doing. If you have a question about an orchid, there will be time to ask a question and hopefully someone in the meeting may have an answer. If you are willing to speak at the meeting, please let Rob know at so we have an idea of who will be actively participating.  This will allow us to organize a rough agenda so that we don’t have everyone trying to talk at once, and everyone who wants to speak will have a chance. We will also build in some flexibility for additional conversation.

Members will receive an invitation with the Zoom instructions. If you don’t receive one in a timely fashion, please contact Rob at the address above. (Could be a technical glitch.) The meeting starts at 2 pm but the doors will be open, so to speak, around 1:30 to allow everyone to get settled.

General Meeting: Sunday November 15, 2020

In keeping with recent practice, our November meeting will take place via Zoom, and members will be receiving an email invitation to attend. Contact Rob Vanderheyden at if you don’t receive one prior to the meeting (glitches do sometimes occur).

Mark Whelan will be our speaker for this meeting and his presentation is on Cypripediums. Mark is a retired professor of computer studies and a member of the Windsor Orchid Society for seven years. He is an Associate American Orchid Society Judge who has assisted with judging at our Annual Show and at AOS outreach judging events held at RBG and has spoken previously to our group. Mark grows Cymbidiums, Bulbophyllums, Cattleyas, Catasetum types, Cypripdiums and some miscellaneous orchids.

There will also be a virtual Show Table at our meeting. Please forward photos of your orchids currently in bloom to Rob Vanderheyden at the address noted above by 6 pm on Friday November 13.

The formal meeting starts at 2 pm but Rob will open the doors, so to speak, about 1:30 so you can sign on and chat with fellow members.

General Meeting: Sunday October 18, 2020

Brown Scale on Phalaenopsis Bloom

For our October meeting, Spencer Hauck will talk about the bugs that sometimes afflict our orchids –like the dreaded scale insect in this photo–and what we can do about it. Spencer Hauck is a Landscape Industry Certified Horticulturist with 16 years of experience in the horticulture industry. He has his certification from the CNLA, and is a graduate of the Humber/Guelph Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship program. In January of 2019 he started his own company. He specializes in tropical plants and planter designs, and has done work for several private estates, and local businesses around the Waterloo Region.  Orchid growing is one of his hobbies and he has spoken to our Society before about orchid pests.

Once again this month, our meeting will take place via ZOOM. Members will receive an email invitation from Rob Vanderheyden; please contact him ( if you don’t receive yours, as occasionally there is a glitch and messages are undelivered. The meeting begins at 2 pm but you can sign on earlier to chat with other members as they show up online.

Rob is also putting together a virtual Show Table. Please send photos of the best orchids blooming in your collection to him by Friday October 16th at 6 pm so that he can put them in a powerpoint presentation. We hope to run a poll this month so members can vote online for the Orchid of the Month.