AOS News – February 2015

Did you know the American Orchid Society has a Facebook page?

I guess I knew it, but I thought, yeah, whatever, Facebook, ok. Well today I was looking for an article I’d seen on bacteria (haven’t found it yet) when I got totally interested in the discussions on the AOS Facebook page! I even saw a post from Peter Lin, our last speaker. It was wonderful already knowing someone who was posting and knowing how well he knew his stuff.

The AOS Facebook page has a ton of photos. There are pictures of many different species as well as pictures of problems with great discussions of diagnoses. Many people travel or live in orchid growing lands and post pictures of orchids in their native environment. People post from all over the world. It is a wealth of information!

Since I’ve had my first ever orchid flower this winter, (shameless personal plug) I’ve become interested in which orchids flower at what time of year. This is an overwhelming task to read about. Now that I have access to the AOS Facebook page, I see people posting their current blooming flowers WITH their proper scientific names for all to see. By sheer osmosis, I can peruse the recent postings and pick up which plants are blooming right now. Of course, since the posts are from all over the world, I have to determine WHERE it is blooming right now!

Many of the pictures are beautiful examples of flowering plants that people want to show off. This is a great way to see what a plant is supposed to look like: the color of the leaves, the roots, the bark, or no bark, the pot it is in or how it is mounted. Just like our show and tell on the front table at each Sonoma County Orchid Society meeting, it’s a great way to see how things should look in addition to sitting there merely jealous and awed at someone else’s great growing skills.

Here’s a great example of an ID please? post with photo and the comments people make.

“Maybe Cattleya Chocolate Drop?”
“Not Chocolate Drop”
“Loog Tone African Beauty or Slc. Tutankamen POP” SM/96’ “
“Has some Chocolate Drop in it for sure.”
and from Peter Lin, “probably Lc. Sagarik Wax”

I went online and searched for Lc. Sagarik Wax. It turns out the plant in question is a cross from Lc. Summerland Girl x C. Chocolate Drop. There is more than one clonal name for Lc. Sagarik Wax types, but one of them is Lc. Sagarik Wax ‘African Beauty.’ Looking at all the comments it’s fun to see how the clues fit together into a final identification.

Oh, and in trying to write this article I had to learn how to talk about orchid names. I found that information at the website in the FAQs.

If you’ve made it this far in the article, don’t forget SCOS has a facebook page too! The link is on page 1 of this newsletter. Check it out.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the AOS awards for January by going to