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Newsletter - Connecticut Orchid Society

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					          Connecticut
          Orchid
          Society
     Newsletter
Affiliated with the American Orchid Society


              March 2012


        53 Years & Growing
            Next Meeting

Date:      Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2012

Time: 6:30 P.M. “Orchid Health Department” help session starts.
      7:00 P.M. Socializing begins. Show & Sale Tables open.
      7:30 P.M. Business meeting begins followed by the featured event.

 Place: Cheshire Senior Center
        240 Maple Ave.
        Cheshire, CT
        (See pg. 29 for map & directions.)

Program:      Orchid Repotting Workshop

Meeting Status: For notice of last-minute or inclement weather
cancellation, visit our website www.ctorchids.org or call Judy
Becker at (860) 435-2263.

   Contact us
   Write       Connecticut Orchid Society, Inc.
               P.O. Box 198, Farmington, CT 06034-0198

   E-mail      President Cheryl Mizak president@ctorchids.org
               Web Master Deidra Crewe dcreweorchids@yahoo.com
               Editor Sharon SmithDelisle editor@ctorchids.org

 Fax           (203) 775-4572


Connecticut Orchid Society (COS) is an incorporated non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization
founded in 1959. Please consider making a charitable contribution to COS. Most donations
made to COS are tax deductible.

 COS Membership Information : $20/yr. Individual $25/yr. Family
 New category: $200 Individual or $250 Family Lifetime Membership (never pay dues
 again!)

 Contact Membership Chairperson Mary Rampone at (860) 649-7952 for more details.
 A membership application is located on pg. 30 for your convenience.



www.ctorchids.org                            1                                 Mar. 2012
            Connecticut Orchid Society Mission Statement
   The Connecticut Orchid Society is an incorporated, non-profit
  association for the preservation and extension of knowledge concerning
  the conservation, ecology, science, cultivation, hybridization, apprecia-
  tion and uses of orchids; and to carry on such activities as may be neces-
  sary or desirable to effectuate such purposes.



           Inside this Issue --- Mar. 2012               Volume LIII Issue III


REGULAR FEATURES
Next Meeting/Contact Us…….…………………..…..…………………..………………...1
COS Membership Information …...…….……….………….……………..….……….…..1
COS Mission Statement…………………………………………………………………….2
Newsletter Table of Contents……………………………………………………………...2
COS Officers and Posts — 2012….…….....…….……………….…………...…………….3
Mentor List, Membership Policy, Content Acknowledgement..….……………...…….3
Calendar of Coming Events ...….…..…….…….………....…..…………...………………4
AOS Corner……...…..….………………..……….….……………………...………….……5
Around the Greenhouse—Editor’s Keikis………………………………………………..6
This Month’s Featured Event .…………………...………..….….………..……………….7
Presidents’ Message………………………………………………………………….…...…8
Monthly Meeting Minutes & Meeting Photos ………….....................…..................9—10
Show Table & Photographs…………………….………………….…..………….………10
News, Notes & Happenings……………………..….......……………….……...…11 — 12
Out Reach Programs…………………………..……………………...………….…13 — 15
Marketplace………………………………………………………………………………...28
Map and/or Directions ….….……. …………..…...………….………..……..……...…...29
Membership Application………….…………….…...………………....…………………30
SPECIAL FEATURES
Orchid Verse………………………………………………………………………………..15
Letters from Hilo, by Larry Kuekes…………...…………………………….……...16—17
Library News: Vanilla Orchids by Ken Cameron…………………….………………….18
Quote of the Month: Charles Darwin to Sir Joseph Hooker…………………………...18
Monthly Culture: March—The Month of Awakening by Thomas Mirenda……..19 — 20
Conservation & Appreciation: Hawaii’s Rarest Native Orchid by L.W. Zettler & S.
Perlman……………………………………………………………………………………..21
A Touch of Class—Beautiful Art from the Past: Lycaste macrophylla..…....……...……….22
Orchid Speak 101: Beginners Start Here, by Ken Slump………………………….23 — 25
Tips & Tricks: ………...…………...………………………………………………….…….26
From the Archives …………………………………………………………………………26
Trivia Fun: Nickname Nonsense, continued…….…………………………..…………..….27

www.ctorchids.org                             2                                  Mar. 2012
           Connecticut Orchid Society Officers and Posts -- 2012

    PRESIDENT                       Cheryl Mizak
    VICE-PRESIDENT                  Vacant
    TREASURER                       Judy Arth
    DIRECTOR -AT- LARGE             Dottie Kern
    DIRECTOR -AT- LARGE             Roger Heigel
    RECORDING SECRETARY             Carla Koch
    MEMBERSHIP CHAIRPERSON          Mary Rampone
    CORRESPONDING SECRETARY         Sharon SmithDelisle
    EDITOR, LIBRARIAN/HISTORIAN     Sharon SmithDelisle
    AOS REPRESENTATIVE              Sam Hinckley
    CONSERVATION CHAIRPERSON        Vacant
    SPECIAL EVENTS COORDINATOR      Cheryl Mizak
    REFRESHMENT CHAIRPERSON         Judy Becker
    WEB MASTER                      Deidra Crewe


                                    Mentor List
  The following COS members are available to answer your culture questions and
  help you with any orchid growing problems you may have:
                    Judy Becker    judybecker40@att.net
                    Greenhouse growing methods: Wide variety of spe-
                    cies & hybrids
                     Sam Hinckley samuelhinckley@comcast.net
                    Windowsill growing methods: Species &
                    hybrids
  Jeffrey Richards Jeffrey.richards@snet.net
  Greenhouse growing methods: Specializing in Paphiopedilums.
  Sharon SmithDelisle       editor@ctorchids.org
  Under lights & windowsill growing methods: Bulbophylums, Cymbidiums,
  Dendrobiums, Paphiopedilums, Miltoniopsis & mixed genera.
  David Tognalli     dtog54@sbcglobal.net
  Windowsill & outdoor growing methods: Warm growers,
  Cattleyas, Dendrobiums & mixed genera.

Membership Policy
Membership is open to anyone interested in orchids. Members join the Society by
payment of annual dues. Memberships may be individual, student, family, life or
honorary. Honorary membership is for life and is made by nomination of the Board of
Directors and majority vote of the membership present at a regular meeting.

Content Acknowledgement
All information, opinions, reporting and recommendations that appear in this news-
letter are those of the editor, unless otherwise noted.


www.ctorchids.org                         3                                 Mar. 2012
                              Upcoming Events

                     Mar. 14 Connecticut Orchid Society Monthly Meeting: Pot-
                     ting Workshop— Bring your orchids and clean pots—there
                     will be a $5.00 materials and supplies fee per pot (6” in. maxi
                     mum) , 7:30 pm, Cheshire Senior Center, 240 Maple Ave.,
                     Cheshire, CT.
 Apr. 11     Connecticut Orchid Society Monthly Meeting: Presenting Andy’s Or-
             chids, San Diego, CA. Topic to be announced. 7:30 pm, Farmington
             Senior Center, 321 New Britain Ave., Unionville, CT.
 May 9       Connecticut Orchid Society Monthly Meeting: TBA, 7:30 pm, Chesh-
             ire Senior Center, 240 Maple Ave., Cheshire, CT.
 June 13     Connecticut Orchid Society Monthly Meeting: TBA, 7:30 pm, Farm-
             ington Senior Center, 321 New Britain Ave., Unionville, CT
 Sept. 12    Connecticut Orchid Society Monthly Meeting: TBA, 7:30 pm, Chesh-
             ire Senior Center, 240 maple Ave., Cheshire , CT
 Oct. 10     Connecticut Orchid Society Monthly Meeting: Hadley Cash of Mar-
             riott Orchids, NC will give a presentation. He will bring plants for
             sale. Topic will be announced. 7:30 pm, Farmington Senior Center,
             321 New Britain Ave., Unionville, CT.
 Oct. 19 ~ 21 Connecticut Orchid Society Show & Sale: Orchid Harvest 2012, Van
              Wilgen’s Garden Center, 51 Valley Rd., North Branford, CT
 Nov. 14     Connecticut Orchid Society Monthly Meeting: Bill Thoms of Central
             Florida will give a presentation about growing outstanding bulbo-
             phyllums. 7:30 pm, Cheshire Senior Center, 240 Maple Ave., Cheshire,
             CT
 Dec. 12     Connecticut Orchid Society Holiday Party & Mini-Auction: 7:00 pm,
             Farmington Senior Center, 321 New Britain Ave., Unionville, CT




www.ctorchids.org                        4                                    Mar. 2012
                                  AOS corner


   Are you in need of a gift for your favorite orchid hobbyist? As a member of the
   American Orchid Society, you may get a 5% discount on all purchases from the
   following vendors as an added benefit of membership: Exotic Orchids of Maui,
   June's Orchid Estate, Krull-Smith, Orchid Doctor, Orchid Inn, Ltd., Seagrove Or-
   chids, Sunset Valley Orchids, and Woodstream Orchids. Another gift option
   could be to purchase an AOS gift membership or renewal -- for a 2 year re-
   newal they will receive directly from AOS headquarters a certificate worth $30
   off of an order of $100 or more from your choice of one of the following ven-
   dors: Carmela Orchids, Carter & Holmes, Dan & Margie Orchids, Exotic Orchids
   of Maui, Gold Country Orchids, Hillsview Gardens, Indoor Gardening Supplies
   (IGS), June's Orchid Estate, Kelley's Korner Orchid Supplies, Krull-Smith, Little
   Brook Orchids, Marsh Hollow Orchids, Mountain View Orchids, New Earth Or-
   chids, Norman's Orchids, OFE International, Orchid Doctor, Orchid Inn Ltd., Pip-
   ing Rock Orchids, Quest Orchids, RF Orchids, Ravenvision, Roberts Flower Sup-
   ply, Soroa Orchids, Inc., Sunset Valley Orchids, Tropical Gardens Orchids. Some
   of these vendors allow these certificates to be used at the shows if they are
   vending (be sure to have the certificates in hand however in order to take ad-
   vantage of this benefit). Information on how to contact these vendors, as well
   as many others, may be found in the 2012 Orchid Source Directory (OSD) which
   was mailed to all AOS members last fall. This directory also has a listing of the
   then-current Affiliated Societies of AOS (a more current updated list is on the
   AOS website). I have been told by some that they never leave home without
   their OSD and that it is a great tool for discovering local orchid ‘spots’ while on
   a road trip.
   An orchid event not to miss coming up (April 25 – 29, 2012) is the AOS Trustees
   and Members meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kansas, sponsored by
   the Kansas Orchid Society – besides a show and all the AOS Committee meet-
   ings, the annual election of officers and trustees will take place. More detailed
   information and registration forms may be found on their website at
   www.kansasorchidsociety.com or on the AOS website under Events/Orchid
   Event Calendars/Members Meeting Datebook. There are also many regional
   local shows coming up in the near future. They are all listed in the new calen-
   dar format on the AOS website under Events/ Event Calendar/Show Sched-
   ule. Be sure to check out all the possibilities in your region. Orchidists, through
   their affiliated societies work very hard to put these shows together and we
   should all support their efforts by attending or participating in the staging of
   the shows.
   Lynn Fuller, Chair Affiliated Societies Committee, mlfuller@comcast.net

www.ctorchids.org                            5                                   Mar. 2012
                    Around the Greenhouse -- Editor’s keikis

                    Letters to the editor are always welcome. Your feedback about any issue that is on
                    your mind will help us improve our Society, as well as the newsletter. Please write
                    to me at editor@ctorchids.org or 38 Robinhood Rd., Danbury, CT 06811.


    The deadline for submissions to the Apr. issue of the newsletter is Mar. 23rd


By coincidence, this month we have focused on Darwin’s famous orchid,
Angraecum sesquipedale. On page 9, Recording Secretary Carla Koch reports that at
our February meeting, speaker Thomas Mirenda talked about the unusual ways
some orchids are pollinated. One of the orchids he talked about was Angraecom
sesquipedale, which has a very long nectar spur that requires a specialized moth
with an equally long proboscus for pollination. On page 9, Larry Kuekes in his
monthly Letters from Hilo column also wrote about a recent book purchase he
made, which coincidentally happened to be Darwin’s The Various Contrivances By
Which Orchids Are Fertilized By Insects . In his book, Darwin famously theorizes that
Angraecum sesquipedale must have been pollinated by a special moth.

One of the hardest aspects of my job as editor is to report the loss of COS mem-
bers. A few weeks ago, we lost an old friend in Roger Vars. I got to know Roger just
a little at meetings o f the now defunct Fairfield County Orchid Association. He and
his wife Rosalie were quite active in that club and I always looked forward to Roger’s
stories, and the plants he would bring to the Show Table. Roger was also a long-time
member of COS but didn’t attend as many meetings in recent years due to the long
drive up from Easton, CT. We will miss Roger’s warm smile and orchid growing ex-
pertise.

Don’t forget that your dues are due for 2012. Support
your society— your dues will keep these newsletters
coming. Your dues will keep the great speaker pro-
grams on track. Your dues will support our annual
show & sale. Your dues will keep a venerable, old or-
ganization running into the next century. We count on
you... don’t disappoint us. Please send in your dues,
today.




www.ctorchids.org                                 6                                            Mar. 2012
                    March’s Featured Event




               Repotting Workshop
        Bring your orchids for repotting.
     Let the COS “Orchid Doctors” help you
    with your repotting chores. This will be a
   hands-on workshop where you will have the
  opportunity to watch how repotting is done on
  your own plants and ask questions each step
                   of the way.

    There is a $5.00/plant supplies fee, which
            covers the potting medium.

           Please bring your own clean pots.
                     (6” maximum)

  Other supplies such as potting medium, fertil-
  izer, plant labels, sphagnum moss, etc. will be
    available on the COS Sale Table. (No taxes
         and no shipping & handling fees.)

      Join us for an evening of camaraderie
                    & learning!!


www.ctorchids.org            7                   Mar. 2012
             Presidents’ Message



Hello —
When you receive this news letter another successful
winter show season will be over. To all members
who lent their blooming plants to help make our displays
beautiful and award winning, a hardy thank you. To all
members that helped with the various display activities
                                                                   Co-president
and to all of the ribbon and rosette winners,
                                                                   Cheryl Mizak
Congratulations & well done!
We are now heading into the busy time of year participating in the different events
that COS has been invited to. The first being Escape to Spring at Van Wilgens Garden
Center, which is also our show location. We could use a little help on Friday, March 9
and Sunday, March 11 for the morning shift, 8 -11am. Please email Sam Hinckley at
samuelhinckley@comcast.net or me at president@ctorchids.org. Of course, we
would be happy to have you pitch in any time through out the weekend.
Saturday, March 24 is the Master Gardeners Symposium (check time) at the Man-
chester Community College. Judy Becker will be manning the COS information booth
and she would appreciate some help. If you have a few hours to give Judy a hand,
please send her an email judybecker40@att.net .
Our repotting workshop this month is just in time for potting season. If you have
plants that need attention, you’re not sure if they need potting or not sure what me-
dia to pot them in, we will have some plant Doctors to help you with advice. Bring
your clean pots and for $5 we will provide the correct potting material. The club ta-
ble will also be fully stocked with potting supplies. Bring your supply list or email me
president@ctorchids.org to make sure we have what you need.
Since we will not have a speaker selling plants, this is a great month to bring those
extra divisions you have been hanging on to and sell them to club members. We will
be doing the 80/20 split (80% for the owner 20% for the club) — everybody wins. And
you get more bench space!
Don’t forget that next month Harry from Andy’s Orchids will be our guest speaker for
April.




www.ctorchids.org                           8                                     Mar. 2012
                               February’s Meeting Minutes

                                 Carla Koch
                             Recording Secretary




                               COS MEETING 2/8/12
Our speaker was Thomas Mirenda, of AOS bulletin fame, who oversees the 8,000
orchid collection at the Smithsonian. His topic was “Mysteries of Orchid Pollina-
tion.” The word Orchid comes from the Greek orchis, or “testicle,” because of the
round twin roots of European orchid species. The medieval doctrine of similars thus
concluded that orchids were the equivalent of Viagra. Greek, Chinese, and Euro-
pean myths concur in this assessment!
At any rate, orchids make up 10 percent of all angiosperms, and new species are
                                   discovered weekly! Their pollinators are generally
                                   quite specific to each orchid, and
                                   orchids evolved new and bizarre
                                   ways of ensuring pollination. One
                                   of the most famous examples of
                                   specificity is Angraecum sesquiped-
                                   ale, which has a very long nectar
                                   spur. Darwin predicted, correctly,
                                   that a moth would be found whose
                                   tongue could reach all the way to
                                   the nectar in the spur. Al-
                                                                    Xanthopan morgani praedicta
                                   though orchids do not have
                                                                   The moth that pollinates An-
                                   pollen, but the encapsulated graecum sesquipedale. Note
                                   pollinia, they do supply in-    that the moth’s name includes
                                   sects with nectar, resins,      the Latin word praedicta — “as
                                                                   predicted”.
     Angraecum sesquipedale
                                 oils, and even fragrances,        (Photo from Wikipedia: The
      Photo: Angraecum.org       which euglossine bees use to Free Encyclopedia)
                                 attract mates. The bucket or-
chid, or Gongora, dumps bees into a pouch of floral liquid, before they crawl to
freedom, carrying the pollinia to the next flower. These odd orchids help to attract
pollinators to Brazil nut trees.
Other examples of unusual pollination abound. Weedy Epidendrums mimic the
desirable milkweeds, thus attracting butterflies. Some high-altitude orchids are
bird-pollinated, since insects are scarce there; they often are tubular, red, and nec-
tarless. Hummingbirds in the New World and Honey-creepers in the Old World are
attracted to these. The small Porroglossums and our native Calopogon have


www.ctorchids.org                                  9                                   Mar. 2012
   hinged lips which snap shut and trap pollinators. Draculas have a yeasty scent like
   a mushroom, and Paphs mimic overripe fruit, attracting pollinators.

                                 One of the most odd and impressive methods of
                                 pollination is delicately referred to as pseudocopu-
                                 lation. The floral fragrance, inner structures and
                                 appearance of species such as Ophrys and the tiny
                                 Lepanthes mimic female insects, attracting males
                                 with predictable results. Abundant flowers of yellow
                                 Oncidiums are attacked by swarms of bees (pseudo-
                                 antagonism.) Strangest of all is the underground
                                 Rhizanthella gardneri of Australia, which may be
                                 pollinated by fungus
           Ophrys apitera
       Photo: www.flickr.com
                                 gnats or termites. It
                                 uniquely produces ber-
                                 ries, consumed by ban-
   dicoots. Meanwhile, the pollinator of the familiar
   Psychopsis, or butterfly orchid, has never been dis-
   covered. Fascinating!

                                                              Rhizanthella gardeneri
                                                              Photo: www.arkive.org



                                     `
                                                       ~ Carla Koch
                                                       Recording Secretary


           Psychopsis
   Photo: www.clanorchids.com




                         February Show Table

 Due to the late hour last month, the Show Table was not reviewed. A big thank
 you to everyone who brought their beautiful ,blooming beauties to the table, any-
 way. We hope to be able to schedule our evening a little better next month so
 that there will be plenty of time to review and appreciate each, and every, orchid
 that is presented on the table.




www.ctorchids.org                          10                                  Mar. 2012
                             News, Notes & Happenings


                    Roger Vars  In Memoriam
                It was with deep sadness that we recently learned
               that our long-time member Roger Vars has passed.
 Roger was an avid orchid grower, a member of COS for decades and also a found-
       ing member of the now defunct Fairfield County Orchid Association.
In recent months we didn’t often see Roger and his lovely wife Rosalie at many
meetings but when he did attend he always lit up the room with his huge smile
and wonderful jokes. Roger was an excellent, experienced orchid grower and usu-
ally brought an outstanding orchid or two to the Show Table just to show the rest
of us how it should be done.
Roger will be sorely missed and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife
Rosalie and his family. Please contact your editor at coseditor@hotmail.com if
you would like the address to send a card or note of condolence to Roger’s family.




                    Last chance to renew your dues  If you
                    haven’t sent in your dues, please take a moment to do it now.
                    April 1st is the cut-off date. You don’t want to miss out on any
                    newletters and meeting announcements. There is a tear-off
                    membership form at the back of the newsletter for your con-
                    venience.


 Andy’s Orchids will be here in April—pre-order your
 plants now Harry Phillips of Andy’s Orchids, Encinitas, CA will be
 returning to speak at COS at our April, 11, 2012 monthly meeting at the
 Farmington Senior Center. Please visit Andy’s website at www.andysorchids.com
 to preorder any of their outstanding orchids for delivery to the meeting. If you’ve
 never visited Andy’s website, you’re in for a treat. One of the special features of
 this orchid supplier is their famous “Orchids on a Stick”. Andy believes you can
 grow almost any orchid mounted! Of course, they have plenty of potted orchids
 to choose from as well.



www.ctorchids.org                          11                                  Mar. 2012
            The International Shore Orchid Festival
                              June 8, 9&10, 2012
                          Silva Orchids, Neptune, NJ
 We have received the following letter and invitation from Joe Silva of Silva Or-
 chids:
           Dear Society Members:
           We are pleased to announce the International Shore Orchid Festival to
 be held June 8, 9 & 10, 2012. The event will be hosted by Silva Orchids in Nep-
 tune, New Jersey. We have added some great new vendors, and these include
 Seed Engel from Japan, Ten Shin Orchids from Taiwan, Black Jungle Terrarium
 Supply from Massachusetts and new vendors may still be added to the event.
 We are also pleased to welcome back our friend Munekazu Ejiri of Suwada Or-
 chids, Japan. We are very excited by the new roster of vendors and are looking
 forward to this year’s event. With this in mind, we would like to entice many
 societies to join us, and fuel prices being what they are we would like to suggest
 bus or van groups as a great way to travel. We are offering a $5.00 coupon to
 anyone who travels by bus or van (groups of 10 or more people). Also, we will
 provide each bus with a package of seedling orchids (2” or 3” pots of nice plants)
 to be raffled off on your ride home. We would like to hear from your group or
 society in order to tailor a lecture series to your interests on your particular day
 at the “Shore Fest”. If you don’t think your society would attract enough mem-
 bers to sign up, let us know and we may be able to have the bus make additional
 stops, if convenient enough, to add members from other societies. Vendors love
 bus groups as it boosts excitement and makes the event more fun. Please bring
 this up at your next meeting, as we want to have plenty of time to figure out the
 logistics of this idea. For example, at some point if your society is interested in a
 bus group, we would need to know the number of people on your bus so we
 would have the right amount of coupons available.




                                                         Lc. Drumbeat ‘Heritage’ HCC/AOS
                                                              (Bonanza x C. Horace)

                                                       Grower: Sharon SmithDelisle
                                                       Photo: Sharon SmithDelisle




www.ctorchids.org                            12                                      Mar. 2012
                  Out Reach Programs




 New Hampshire Orchid Show, February 11 - 12, 2012




     Many thanks to Dave Tognalli for these photos of the COS display at the
     New Hampshire Orchid Show. We garnered several ribbons at the show:
     Dave Tognalli was awarded a rosette for his Dendrobium sanderae and
     Sandy Myhalik also was awarded a rosette for one of her Phalaenopsis.
     COS received a Third Place ribbon for overall display and a Second Place
     ribbon for a display that most closely related to the show’s theme. Many
     thanks to Ginna Plude, Sandy Myhalik and Dave Tognalli for loaning their
     beautiful plants; and a special thanks to Dave for setting up and taking
     down the display.


www.ctorchids.org                        13                                Mar. 2012
 The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc. “The Fabu-
 lous Fifties” Flower Show, Feb. 23-26,2012
 We are pleased to report that the COS display at The Federated Garden Clubs of
 Connecticut flower show won a Third Place Ribbon. Thank you to all the members
 who loaned plants for the display.

 Amherst Orchid Society Show & Sale, Feb. 25 & 26, 2012 
 Due to a scheduling conflict with the Connecticut Flower & Garden Show in
 Hartford that same weekend, COS almost didn’t participate in the Amherst event.
 However, Sandy Myhalik stepped to the plate and notified President Cheryl Mizak
 that she was willing to spearhead a team so that COS would be represented at the
 show — and wow, did we ever make a showing! Unfortunately, there are no
 photos of our display, but Sandy reported the following awards:

 Rosette for Best Large Specimen: A Dendrobium loaned by Belle Ribbicoff.
 Rosette for Best Dendrobium: Belle’s Dendrobium also won this award.
 Third Place Ribbon: For the overall COS display
 13 Blue Ribbons, 7 Red Ribbons and 6 Yellow Ribbons were awarded for other
 plants in our display.
 Many thanks to Sandy and her husband Steve for their hard work making such a
 successful showing at what was really the eleventh hour. Their generous and
 enthusastic donation of their time and talent is greatly appreciated.

 Other Area Events COS also participated in two other shows in February:
 The Deep Cut Orchid Society Show & Sale, Feb. 10, 11 & 12, 2012. Cheryl Mizak
 drove down to NJ to set up and take down our display for this event. The
 Connecticut Flower & Garden Show, Hartford, CT, Feb. 23—26, 2012. The COS Epi
 Tree was used in our display at this event. Cheryl Mizak did the set-up and take
 down for this event. Jenny Lane, Carla Koch, Christine Wall, Dottie Kern, and Sam
 Hinckley manned our booth and helped spread the good word about membership in
 COS. XXXX was the winner of the raffle orchid.

 Van Wilgen’s Garden Center– Escape to Spring, March 9—11,
 2012  The COS Epi Tree also particpated in this event. Sharon SmithDelisle,
                                        her husband Richard, and Cheryl Mizak set
                                        up our display. There were plants for sale
                                        and a raffle drawing at this event. Judy
                                        Becker, Ben Esselink, Debbie Landry, Sam
                                        Hinckley, Ginna Plude, Martha Shea, Dottie
                                        Kern, Hedy Korst, Joyce & Morgan Daniels,
                                        and Rosemary Call all helped man the booth
                                        over the long weekend. In the photo
                                        on the left, Judy Becker (left) and
 Sharon SmithDelisle pose in front of the COS Epi Tree.

www.ctorchids.org                         14                               Mar. 2012
 Hollandia Garden Center Spring Event, March 24 & 25 and
 March 31 & April 1, 2012 Sharon SmithDelisle and Cheryl Mizak will
 particpate in Hollandia Garden Center’s annual spring event in Bethel. Sharon will
 conduct a general, question & answer type forum Saturday, March 24th and Cheryl
 will conduct a repotting demonstartion on Saturday, March 31st.


  take a moment,
      oh, let’s converse;
            stop and enjoy
         some orchid verse.




(Poetry by Eileen M. Hector. Photo by Julio Hector.
Reprinted from the AOS magazine Orchids, Dec. 2011, pg. 768 ~ Parting Shot)




www.ctorchids.org                                    15                       Mar. 2012
     Letters                                                    from Hilo


 Editor’s Note: After dedicating many decades of his life volunteering for COS, honorary life member
 Larry Kuekes finally realized one of his dreams when he retired and moved to Hilo, Hawaii. Larry is the
 author of the Beginner’s Column which you may have seen in this newsletter in the past. Larry was also
 the previous newsletter editor for many years. With more time on his hands these days, Larry writes
 about his adventures with warm weather orchid growing in Hawaii.
 Dear COS Friends,
 One of the drawbacks of living on an island is that there are some things you just
 can't get locally. Mostly, I can't complain. Hilo has a mall with a Sears and a
 Macy's, and there are plenty of other stores. But I was disappointed when the
 local Borders went out of business. It was the only bookstore in town (there are a
 couple of used bookstores, but they're not the same).
 That's where the Internet comes in handy. Amazon is a lifesaver for me. My most
 recent purchase from Amazon was The Various Contrivances By Which Orchids
 Are Fertilized By Insects, by Charles Darwin. It's pretty technical and not exactly
 light reading. But it's a classic of orchid literature, and for years it's been on my
 list to acquire.
 Many of you have heard how Darwin predicted the existence of a moth that could
 pollinate Angraecum sesquipedale. Here are Darwin's own words:

            The Angraecum sesquipedale, of which the large six-rayed flowers, like
            stars formed out of snow-white wax, have excited the admiration of trav-
            elers in Madagascar, must not be passed over. A green, whip-like nectary
            of astonishing length hangs down beneath the labellum. In several flow-
            ers sent me by Mr. Bateman I found the nectaries eleven and a half
            inches long, with only the lower inch and a half filled with nectar. What
            can be the use, it may be asked, of a nectary of such disproportionate
            length? . . . In Madagascar there must be moths with proboscides capable
            of extension to a length of between ten and eleven inches! This belief of
            mine has been ridiculed by some entomologists . . .
 He goes on to explain how the moth and the orchid must have co-evolved. The
 pollinia and stigma in this species are positioned so that the orchid will only be
 pollinated if the moth pushes its head into the flower. If the spurs (nectaries) of
 some plants of the species are shorter and some are longer, a long-tongued



www.ctorchids.org                                    16         `                                Mar. 2012
moth can drink the nectar from the short spurs without its head touching the flower,
so those plants will not be pollinated. Only the ones with longer spurs will be
pollinated and set seed. Likewise, if some moths have shorter tongues (proboscides)
and some longer, the ones with shorter tongues won't be able to reach the nectar,
so the longer-tongued moths will more successfully survive and reproduce. As Dar-
win says:
        Thus it would appear that there has been a race in gaining length between
        the nectary of the Angraecum and the proboscis of certain moths . . .
Darwin didn't just write the book because he was interested in orchids. Orchid polli-
nation provided a huge set of examples of flower structure which only made sense in
the light of the theory of evolution. By the way, the pollinating moth with a ten-inch
tongue was found in 1903, though Darwin didn't live to see it.
After moving to Hilo I bought an Angraecum sesquipedale to add to my warm-
growing collection. (You can grow it in Connecticut, too. I saw one in bloom in the
late Dr. Ben Berliner's intermediate greenhouse.) Just a few days ago I noticed what
looks like the beginning of a flower spike on mine. I can't wait to see the flowers
(and measure them). Sesquipedale is Latin for one-and-a-half feet, because the
flower is supposed to be a foot and a half long from the top petal to the bottom of
the nectar spur!
                                                      Larry Kuekes




            Just as Darwin predicted, here is a photo of the moth Xanthopan
            morgani praedicta pollinating the long, long spur of A. sesquiped-
            ale. What a shot! If only Darwin had lived to see that his prediction
            was correct.



www.ctorchids.org                                  17                               Mar. 2012
                                        Library
   News from the Catts hiding in the stacks


The library has just received a complimentary copy of Ken Cam-
eron’s new book Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and
Cultivation from the Timber Press, Inc. This book provides an
excellent, in-depth look at the only orchid of agricultural value.
Vanilla is a very popular natural product which is used not only
for baking but also found                                in ice cream, many baked
goods; anything that has                                 chocolate in it , but also in
other such diverse items                                 as scented candles, house-
hold cleaners, fabric                                    softners, lotions, soaps and
perfumes. The                                            production of vanilla beans is
of huge economic                                         importance.
The book has several                                    detailed chapters about the
vanilla plant structure,                                species and hybrids. There
are chapters on vanilla                                 cultivation, pollination, har-
vesting and processing.                                 In addition, there are 63
pages of glossy, full-color                             photographs showing various
flowering vanilla species,                              vanilla production and sam-
ples of vanilla products. I especially enjoyed an old historical photo of laborers
harvesting and curing the vanilla beans — a very labor intensive production.
Flowering the vanilla orchid is very challenging even to the most experienced
grower. But the plant is an interesting climber that many orchid growers enjoy just
for its unusual character. However, focused as we are on growing it makes it easy
for us to overlook the other important aspects of this curious orchid. Cameron’s
book is an easy read and offers the opportunity to really get to know all about the
vanilla plant. If you would like to borrow this book from the COS library, please
contact librarian Sharon SmithDelisle at editor@ctorchids.org.

     “ What frightful trouble you have taken about Vanilla:
     you really must not take an atom more; for the orchids
     are more play than real work.”
                                              Charles Darwin
                                              to Sir Joseph Hooker
                                                    August 30, 1861
                          Quote of the Month
               (quote taken from Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation)




www.ctorchids.org                                18                                  Mar. 2012
 March: The Month of Awakening
                By Thomas Mirenda
     Encouraging New Growth with a Change in Watering Habits
It’s been an anomalous winter: deep freezes on the west coast and barely a
flurry in the mid Atlantic . A perennial topic for polite conversation, everyone has
opinions regarding the weather, especially when it misbehaves. El Niño, La Niña,
global warming, scalar electromagnetic manipulations by nefarious underworld
figures, etc., yet none of these can adequately explain the intricacies and vagaries
of our weather, certainly not why it sometimes rains fishes (lluvia de pesce) in
Honduras a couple times each year. No matter how unusual our weather has
been this year, you’ve got to continually marvel at the earth’s ability to renew
itself. Despite the vicissitudes of climate, snowdrops and crocuses still manage to
emerage as expected.

This month the landscape reawakens. However delicately, it’s unmistakable.
And as the days lengthen and brighten, subtle evidence of that awakening will
soon appear in your orchid collection. Now is the time to keep a close watch on
your dormant plants for renewed growth, and to take appropriate action. Just be
sure you don’t jump the gun. It is still possible to kill or damage plants by working
with or overwatering those that are still sleeping.

Grooming With so many orchids in full bloom, your’re going to want
to show them off. Happily, there are many orchid shows and society meetings this
month for you to proudly display your progeny. But like any children, you
wouldn’t let them leave the house unless they were clean. To have your orchids
make the best possible impression, take some time to remove water spots or
residue from the leaves. This can be difficult. There are many leaf-shine products
available but most orchid plants look too glossy (I once was almost given, jestingly
I’m sure, a JC award for exceptionally shiny leaves when I used such a product).
Swabbing leaves with solutions of whole milk gives orchid plants a natural shine.
Others have found success using small amounts of olive oil and dish soap mixed in
water. For really tough stains, a 1:10 vinegar to water solution will often dissolve
residues from fertilizer or hard water.

Water and fertilizer This must be administered with
the utmost care in March. Phalaenopsis and cymbidiums are mostly still blooming
but plants that have been utilized for shows or brought into the house to enjoy
may be looking ragged. If they’ve been in less-than-ideal con