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Excerpts from
VOLUME 75, NO. 4—October, November, December 2011
Celebrating 75 years!

Tom Perlite
7 pages, 37 photos

Odontioda Glyndebourne Belmonte
(Saint Clement x Harrods Forever)
©Eric Hunt

Odontoglossums and San Francisco are the ideal pairing of orchid and environment. When I bought my first orchid 35 years ago, I wanted a non-cymbidium which would grow outside in San Francisco. That first Odontoglossum would lead to a few more, and eventually, a career in the orchid business. The orchid business has changed dramatically over that time, but my fascination and love of odonts has not.

The climate of coastal northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for growing odontoglossums and their hybrids. The moderate winters and cool summers allow for these plants to be grown outside most of the year...


Odontoglossum: Requiescat in Pace
Robert H. Hamilton
6 pages, 11 images

The Pacific Ocean received its name in 1521 from Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan named this body of water the Mar Pacifico or peaceful sea. Where the Pacific Ocean meets the west coast of South America contradicts the name; this intersection is anything but peaceful. Plate tectonics, specifically the process of subduction, is forcing the Pacific Ocean's crust beneath the South American plate thus creating the world's longest mountain chain, the Andes, and within these mountains a rapidly evolving biosphere...

Lindfield catalogue cover showing the enormous numbers of crispums being exported and sold at auction.

Lost and Found: Searching for Rare Odontoglossums
Steve Beckendorf
12 pages, 30 photos

Luis Blanco and Antonio Uribe with the prize, Odm. naevium
from the San Lorenzo road.
©Steven Beckendorf

It took seven people and 15 years to track down two elusive orchids—but it was worth it! Of course we had no idea what we were getting into. In November 2009, three of us—Peter Wüllner, Gerardo Buff, and I—were in Santa Marta, Colombia, hoping to go up into the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and look for a pair of Odontoglossum species, Odontoglossum nevadense and Odontoglossum naevium, that hadn’t been seen in the wild, at least by orchid people that we knew about, for more than 40 years. None of us had been in these mountains before, we didn’t have any local guides, and we had just a few hazy clues about where we should look...

Some Miniature Members of the Oncidiinae
Cordelia Head
5 pages, 15 photos

The name Oncidium brings to mind large plants with long branched inflorescences displaying numerous large showy yellow flowers. However, there are many interesting and different members of the Oncidiinae subtribe that are compact, and even miniature plants with unusual, intricately shaped and often highly colorful flowers. The following are just a few of the many fascinating, smaller-growing members of this group.

There are numerous changes in the taxonomy of the Oncidiinae, not necessarily accepted by all in the scientific world. I have used the genus names according to Robert L. Dressler as published in his Phylogeny and Classification of the Orchid Family. The name accepted by the Advisory Subcommittee on Orchid Hybrid Registration (ASCOHR) will follow in parens when it differs from Dressler...

Osmoglossum pulchellum (Cuitlauzina pulchella)
©Ron Parsons

Maui-Bred Miltoniopsis: A Personal Journey
Ivan Komoda
7 pages, 32 photos

M. Hajime Ono ‘Raspberry Butterfly’
A stable clonal mutation with peloric markings.
©Ivan Komoda

I was fortunate enough, in 1992, to move back to Maui after a 15-year absence. College, work, and being on the move every five years were getting old. And so was I! My former employer granted me a month’s vacation on Maui and that is how things began to gel for a move back home. A chance meeting with my future boss at a local Hawaiian hospital resulted in a job and the opportunity to move back home. My family was delighted.

While living in Seattle, I began my interest in a group of orchids that had a reputation of liking it cool and being difficult to grow, but I was taken with the beauty and fragrance of these orchids. I decided that I would move to Upcountry Maui, in Makawao with a climate that is cool and natural that miltoniopses love and where they would thrive...

In Orchid Hybridizing: "It is the Journey and Not the Arrival that Matters"
Howard Liebman
8 pages, 31 images

It was 37 years ago that I made my first hybrid in the Odontoglossum alliance, Oncidium (Odontioda) Memoria Harry Seigel (Carl Keyes x alexandrae). Over the ensuing years I have experimented in nearly every genus and hybrid genus in the alliance, having bred odontoglossums, odontiodas, odontocidiums, wilsonaras, miltoniopes, miltonidiums, odontonias, vuylstekearas, oncidiodas, beallaras, degarmoaras, blackaras, aspoglossums, lageraras and even one called Liebmanara. Some crosses have been disasters, but for any hybridizer, this is part of the learning process. However, there have been enough hybrids of quality to encourage me to keep at it. Orchid hybridizing is an ongoing process in which each hybrid is not an end in itself but a stepping-stone to future creations...

Cyr. pastasae 'Rustic Canyon' HCC/AOS
©Howard Liebman

The Culture of Odontoglossums and Related Genera
Jim Rassmann
4 pages, 8 photos

Ideal light levels are reached when plant leaves just begin to show a slight bronzing. Grown at Ecuagenera, Gualeceo, Ecuador.
©Jim Rassmann

Today odontoglossum enthusiasts benefit from a long history of interest and experience in cultivating odontoglossums and related genera in Europe, particularly in England, dating back to the late 1800s. The exotic beauty of these amazing plants captivated growers during those early days when enthusiasts largely indentified and perfected the optimum cultural requirements for them. Early photographs from the turn of the 20th century illustrate greenhouses full of well-grown and flowered plants cultivated to perfection. Now, some one hundred years later, the number of people successfully growing odontoglossums has declined. This is perhaps due to a general perception that these plants are difficult to grow and to a valid concern about providing the required lower temperatures. A few avid growers in the warmer areas of the United States, willing to go to the extra effort and expense to cool their growing areas, do succeed in producing beautifully grown plants. It is easier, however, to grow them in cooler coastal areas...

Why the Name Changes?
Cindy Coty
4 pages, 4 photos/charts

Any orchid enthusiast who diligently maintains plant labels in pots, with names of their favorite plants, is likely to be dismayed to find their plants are now mislabeled. The Advisory Subcommittee on Orchid Hybrid Registration (ASCOHR) of the Royal Horticultural Society is the world’s final authority on orchid nomenclature and, as such, is responding to new scientific findings regarding plant relationships using advances in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology. Orchid nomenclature changes have resulted from the new information, especially in the Cattleya/Laelia and Oncidium/Odontoglossum groups, although not in the slipper orchids (subfamily Cypripedioideae) or the Catasetum or Stanhopea groups. The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSPF) maintains the most up-to-date reference regarding orchid species names and their priority (including synonyms) and the International Orchid Registry (IOR) maintained by the Royal Horticultural Committee (RHS) is the final arbiter with regard to hybrid names...