Monthly Archives: October 2022

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

  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 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