Orchid News – February 2012

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2 Feb                      Ray Clements

5 Apr                      Orchid Tray company

27-29 Apr              Autumn Show.

February Meeting

Our guest speaker will be Ray Clements from Tinonee Orchids near Taree.  Many will remember Ray from his visit two years ago, or will have visited his orchid nursery.  Ray’s topic will be latest trends with Cattleya breeding.

If members wish to order anything from Tinonee orchids Ray will bring them with him to the meeting and saving you the cost of postage/freight.

Tinonee’s website is www.tinoneeorchids.com

Committee Report

The committee met at Mangrove Jacks on 18th January for a planning meeting.  We discussed ways to cater for our members and to plan activities for 2012.

Please let us know what you think about these matters.  Areas covered included –

  • How we run our meetings
  • Guest speakers
  • Monthly competition
  • Use of our library
  • Newsletter – content, presentation, distribution
  • Website
  • Other publications
  • Sponsors – what new sponsors can we approach?
  • 2012 program – meetings, visits, shows, workshops, etc
  • Shows
  • Finances
  • Get well cards – will only send these in special circumstances in future.

Guest Speakers

Does anyone have any ideas about who we could approach as a guest speaker?  Or perhaps a topic that you would like to see covered?  Most speakers will be talking about orchids, but we will occasionally have someone talking about a topic other than orchids. Please let Ed or one of the committee know.

Would any of you be interested in speaking?  Several of our members have been speakers at our meetings.

There should be some of these Oncidium intergeneric orchids in flower for our Autumn Show.

There should be some of these Oncidium intergeneric orchids in flower for our Autumn Show.

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Monthly Display / Competition

We will continue with the display as at present, but we will try to make the table talk more interesting.  The person doing this will be asked to just announce the first in each category – the others will of course be listed in newsletter – and where appropriate hold up the plant so the members can see what we are talking about.

The persons doing the table talk need to speak clearly and to the members so that we can all hear what is being said.  Members are asked not to talk during this table talk so that everyone can hear.

“Visiting Orchid Doctor”

We will try a new service, particularly aimed at our newer growers.  Members are encouraged to bring plants to meetings to ask for advice, but sometimes it is better if someone can see where and how plants are being grown.

This year we will try a service where members, specially newer growers can contact the society, perhaps the secretary or president, and ask for an experienced orchid grower to visit to have a look at what orchids are being grown and how they are being grown.

There are some Coelogyne tomentosas in flower now.  This species quickly develops into large plants with many flowers cascading down from the pot.

There are some Coelogyne tomentosas in flower now. This species quickly develops into large plants with many flowers cascading down from the pot.

Autumn Show

It is not too early to be thinking about our Autumn Show.  What plants might you have in flower?  What do you need to do to them to present them at their best?

We’ve had a few speakers talking to us about preparing orchids for shows – these talks are reported in our newsletters which can be found on the web site.

Remember too that this year we are broadening the range of orchid plants that we can sell at the sales table.  We are not restricted just to flowering plants, but can also sell mature, well established plants. The sales table coordinator will be authorised to reject plants that don’t meet this standard.

A slipper orchid displayed at our Autumn Show.

A slipper orchid displayed at our Autumn Show.


A reminder that people who find it a little hard to hear should sit nearer the front of the room.

To help with this issue we will purchase a microphone for speakers to use.


We have quite an extensive collection of books in the cupboard – does everyone know where this is? – and members are encouraged to make better use of this. There are two Australian magazines dealing with orchids – Orchids Australia and Australian Orchid Review.  The society subscribes to Orchids Australia and members are encouraged to have a look at these in the library.

There will be some more information about this soon.

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2012 Program

This year we will have our monthly meetings with guest speakers as usual, and we will have our two Shows.

Gordon and Brian will hold several workshops, and we plan to have a couple of home visits. We hope to do a trip perhaps to an orchid nursery as we did to Easy Orchids last year.

We are also planning to have an easy bush walk to see some Australian orchids growing in their natural environment.

It is hoped that we can finalise the details soon and put the information in a newsletter and on the web site for you.

Home Visits

This year we will have a couple of home visits where members can visit one our orchid growers to see how he or she grows orchids and to ask questions.

There might be tea/coffee, etc provided but hosts should not feel that they must provide a morning tea/afternoon tea banquet.


Sponsors are an important part of our society.  Their support allows us to run the program we do, to pay the prizes we do, to purchase items like the projector, and still to cover our costs.  Without the sponsors we would be running at a loss.

Please support our sponsors, and let them know that we appreciate their support.

We would like to gain a few more sponsors.  Do you have any ideas about who could be a good sponsor, or who we might approach?  Remember, we are seeking sponsor.  This is different to donations since, in return for their money, we advertise their business at meetings in the newsletter and through our web site.

If you have any ideas please see Ed or one of the committee.

Agenda for February Meeting

Welcome, Apologies, Visitors.

Minutes of Dec meeting – as printed in newsletter

Business Arising

Committee Report – refer to report.

Inwards Correspondence

Outwards Correspondence

Finance Report – as printed in newsletter

Table talk

General business

Guest Speaker – Ray Clements.

Raffle, popular vote.

Zygopetalums are becoming increasing popular.

Zygopetalums are becoming increasing popular.

Minutes for December 2011 Meeting

APOLOGIES:          Tracy Suter, Ken Green, Dulcie McBain, Margaret Chapman, Inge & Herb Zegelin, Tom Denison, Alviena Knight,

New Members:     Robert Standing, Anne Dew

Minutes                   Mvd: Steve Scd: Don That minutes as printed in newsletter be approved.

Correspondence In:

  1. BCU Statements,
  2. Fuji Xerox invoice,

Correspondence Out:

  1. Thank you letters to all our sponsors.
  2. Update of meeting and show times sent to surrounding Orchid Societies.
  3. Letter to Botanical Gardens to request hall bookings for 2012.

Mvd: Don Scd: Norm. That inwards be received and outwards be approved.

Finance report:   Mvd: Bruce Scd: Steve That the report as printed in newsletter be approved

General Business:                                Nil

Table Talk:                                             Nil

We would like to give a big thanks to Gary Suter for collating all the scores for the year.

Popular Vote: Won by Ed Pearce for his Brassia verrucosa

Raffle won by:      Ed Pearce, Don Baker, Gary Suter

Active Service Awards: We recognise those members who have contributed to the society for substantial periods of time.

10 YEARS – Don Turner, Silesa Ronolo-King,

15 YEARS – Clem Murray, Ivy Wheeler.

Plant Awards for most points in each category during the year –

P & P King, Ivy Wheeler, Bruce Hall, Don Turner, Barbara Pearce, Ed Pearce, Margaret Chapman, Eric & Dot Collins, Peter Baker, Carole Davis

Most Points Overall (Glad Fleming Award)

1st Ivy Wheeler, 2nd Peter Baker

Formalities over for the year the meeting was then closed to be followed by the Christmas Party and Secret Santa, with special gifts given to Brian Newman and Gordon Clarke for all their work with the Beginners Classes this year.  Very much appreciated. We are looking forward to more next year.

It was a wonderful social event with a bounty of wonderful food and drinks provided by everyone.

We hope you all enjoyed your year and look forward to an even brighter and more enjoyable one next year.

Thank you to you all for your continued support of Coffs Harbour Orchid Society.

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Brassia Verrucosa

We saw a few of these plants on display towards the end of the year.  They are fairly easy to grow and are very rewarding producing a large number of large “spidery” orchids.

It was one of these which one the popular vote at our December meeting.

Brassia is one of the genera in the Oncidiinae family, and is used extensively in hybridising.

Note the “spidery “ flowers on a Brassia verrucosa.

Note the “spidery “ flowers on a Brassia verrucosa.

Laelia Anceps by Jim Brydie

Those of you who have a Laelia anceps will probably see developing spikes now.  Here is an article about this species by Jim Brydie, a Sydney orchid grower.


A Laelia anceps.

A Laelia anceps.

When I first started growing orchids, Laelia anceps was an orchid you gave every beginner because it was hardy and a reliable flowerer. Although its flowers were large and showy, it wasn’t regarded as top class because of its long inflorescence. The big pink or white flowers were stuck out at the end of a 90-120 cm arching spike that made it just a little hard to display and appreciate.

The species comes from Mexico and the Honduras at altitudes of only 500-1500 m, but although this might make me think it wasn’t a really cold grower, experience tells me otherwise, and it is certainly an adaptable species. Although its normal habitat would be in oak and pine forests, it often occurs as an epiphyte in coffee plantations in those areas. It is also a rather variable species in nature, and there are some quite attractive smaller varieties, with a much shorter inflorescence, that can look very attractive when grown into specimen plants with a dozen or more 45cm spikes terminating in 3 or 4 flowers each.

Laelia anceps at our Autumn Show in 2009.

Laelia anceps at our Autumn Show in 2009.

For years, growers looked for selected and named varieties of wild collected forms, but in more recent times, many nurserymen have really focused on breeding to improve the flower shape and colour, and there are some gorgeous new types about. There are some which are smooth and flat, richly coloured and perfectly complement nice flat sepals and petals. There are also some fantastic coerulea (blue) forms available which are high quality with nice medium length spikes. It is quite fascinating to see the slight differences from plant to plant, exactly as you would expect with seedlings.

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PO BOX 801, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

Ph: 02 6650 9578 | 0418 519908
Ed Pearce (President)

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