Welcome to the Palomar Orchid Society Website!

The Palomar Orchid Society, incorporated in December of 1965 was formed when a few people banded together to talk about orchids. We then grew and bloomed into the roughly 200-member group of orchid enthusiasts that we have today. We represent everything orchid in North San Diego County! Come and join us!!

The Palomar Orchid Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and cultivation of both hybrid and species orchids. We welcome members of all levels to join us for orchid fun and learning! Our mission is to promote interest in the appreciation of orchids and to provide an opportunity for their display and the exchange and dissemination of information relating to their culture.

November 2023 - George Hatfield's Webinar on "Cultural Techniques for Growing Award-Winning Cymbidiums'

The onset of fall initiates the cymbidium flowering season that can last through late spring to early summer.  Accordingly, we felt it would be good to review cymbidium culture at this time. As an affiliate member of AOS, our society has access to a large number of webinars featuring excellent orchid experts on a variety of topics.  George Hatfield, cymbidium hybridizer and grower extraordinaire, produced an excellent webinar on how he grows award-winning cymbidiums. George covers numerous cultural techniques that allow him to produce such beautiful cymbidiums. He also addresses pests and diseases. We will feature George’s video, then ask Jerry Spencer and Alex Nadzan to answer any questions that you may have on cymbidium culture. November’s opportunity table will be from Cal-Orchid.

 George Hatfield holds a Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science from California State Polytechnic University. He was President of the American Orchid Society from 2016-2018 and received the Hudlow Trophy from the Cymbidium Society of America recognizing his achievements in Cymbidium hybridizing.

 George is the owner of Hatfield Orchids, a Ventura County, CA based company, initiated in 2005 with focus on the development of high quality and award-winning cymbidiums. He is an accredited orchid judge for both the CSA and AOS.  George is also a past-president of the CSA and was the Chairman of the CSA Cymbidium Congress from 1998-2001 and president of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show in 2002 and 2003. 

Wed, 11/01/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

October 2023 – Doug Overstreet

Doug OverstreetDoug OverstreetWe are delighted to welcome Douglas Overstreet, Orchid Specialist of the Thornton Conservatory at the Huntington Botancial Garden. Doug will present his talk on ‘My 10 Favorite Oncidiums, Some of Which are Still Oncidiums’. Doug is a shared speaker with our sister society, SDCOS, and he will be presenting the same topic on Tuesday in Balboa Park.’ Doug is a very experienced orchidist who has extensive knowledge on a large number of orchid genera. His talk will present a selection of beautiful and enjoyable species of plants in the Oncidiinae alliance that are easy to locate and grow in southern California. All of the plants used to be considered as genus Oncidium but some have been moved into other genera in the past few years. A brief explanation of these changes will be presented along with specific cultural considerations for each species. This month’s plant table will come from one of our local nurseries.

Douglas Overstreet has grown orchids continually since he was 10 years old. He comes by his interest in plants and animals naturally. His family have been American farmers since 1684. The first orchid he purchased in 1972 was Cattleya Trimos, a primary hybrid between C. trianaei and C. mossiae. The first orchid he flowered was a phalaenopsis hybrid.    Read more »

Wed, 10/04/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

September 2023 – Tim Culbertson

Tim CulbertsonTim CulbertsonWe are delighted to welcome back one of our favorite speakers, Tim Culbertson. Tim will be speaking on ‘Encyclias of Mexico and Beyond’.  This is a very timely talk as many members of the Encyclia family are blooming at this time so Tim’s presentation will be very educational for our members.  These spectacular cattleya relatives grow well outside in Southern California, and with their compact habit, great fragrance, and ease of growth, these are delightful plants for every collection.  By extending the traditional definition of Encyclias to include recently separated groups like Anacheilum, Panarica, Prosthechea, Euchile, and others that Tim and many of us grew up calling Encyclia, we end up with a diverse, beautiful, fragrant, exciting group of plants and flowers. If we add those to the wonderful flora of Mexico and Central America, we have a group that every collector should grow.  By the end of this presentation, members will have a new appreciation of the range of plant habits, floral forms, and fragrances of Encyclia broadly, as well as an appreciation of their lovely flowers and ease-of-growth.  This is a talk not to be missed. Tim also will be providing this month’s plant table.   Read more »

Wed, 09/06/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

August 2023 – Satomi Kasahara

Satomi KasaharaSatomi KasaharaWe are pleased to welcome this month’s speaker Satomi Kasahara of Seed Engei who will speak about Neofinetia falcata, a native orchid of Japan. She is being jointly hosted by our society and SDCOS and will speak on the same topic in Balboa Park on Tuesday evening. Satomi will talk about the history of the plants, their basic characteristics, how to grow them, changes in Fūkiran over the past 15 years and will conduct a potting demo. Satomi also will be providing the plant table this month. Recently, the genus Neofinetia has been reclassified as Vanda but many hobbyists prefer to still refer to them as Neofinetias or Fūkiran.

Satomi has been running Seed Engei America for a little more than 10 years. Seed Engei is the family business in Japan that has specialized in Fūkiran (Neofinetia falcata) for 45 years. She started to be part of the business in 2006 after graduating from college in the USA. During this period, she has successfully expanded the popularity of Fūkiran in USA with help from various people in the orchid world. Satomi has fond memories of Fūkiran since she was very little. Her father’s greenhouse was her go to spot for hide and seek with friends and her first job was to find tiny bugs on small Fūkiran for her father. As time passed, she came to understand the differences and beauty of these small but magnificent plants.    Read more »

Wed, 08/02/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

July 2023 – Peter Lin

Peter LinPeter LinWe welcome back Peter Lin, one of our favorite and very knowledgable speakers who will be presenting his newest talk:  Compact Vandaceous Species and Hybrids.  We will learn about the many different small growing species and hybrids within the Vanda alliance. Several of these orchids can be grown successfully outdoors in Southern California, depending on the parents involved in the hybrid or the species.  Peter’s fast-paced PowerPoint presentation will include many pictures along with cultural tips.  Peter also will be providing the plant opportunity table. The talk will be streamed on zoom for those members who can’t attend in person.

Peter started growing orchids over 30 years ago, but then stopped due to school and starting a career.  It wasn't until about 14 years ago that the orchid "bug" came back and he is now heavily involved once again.  He is an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society and a hybridizer of mini-catts.  He enjoys meeting with other orchid enthusiasts, and can often be found at various orchid shows and societies around the country.  He also has thousands of photos of his orchids that he maintains on Flickr.   Read more »

Wed, 07/05/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

June 2023 – Jack Zhu

Jack ZhuJack ZhuOur society is delighted to welcome Jack Zhu for the first time as our speaker on Wednesday, June 7th at 6:30 pm. Jack is a shared speaker with SDCOS and will speak with our sister society on Tuesday evening June 6th in Balboa Park. Jack will speak with us on the ‘Form and Color of Asian Cymbidiums’.  He will give a brief introduction of Asian cymbidium history as well as the main species typically accepted in the Asian cymbidium culture. Then, Jack will go into details about the various flower forms and colors of various Asian cymbidiums. In the end, Jack will briefly go over another talk he is working on, the leaf variegation of Asian cymbidiums and conduct a potting demo on Asian cymbidiums. It is a talk not to be missed. Jack also will supply this month’s plant table.

Jack Zhu is an orchid hobbyist from the Los Angeles area, who focuses on growing Asian cymbidiums and is also very interested in the culture and history of Asia cymbidiums. In addition to growing cymbidiums, Jack also grows a variety of orchids and plants including Neofinetia falcatas, Phalaenopsis, and novel clivias, just to name a few.  He is currently an Associate Judge in the AOS Pacific South Judging Region and has more than twenty AOS awards for his Asian cymbidiums and related orchids, some of which are highlighted in this newsletter.  

Wed, 06/07/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

May 2023 – Fred Clarke

Fred ClarkeFred ClarkeWe welcome back this month, Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids, one of our most favorite and impressive speakers. Fred will present a new talk entitled ‘Modern Blue Cattleyas’ that reviews the successes he has had in developing novel blue and spotted blue cattleyas by using several of the blue or coerulea cattleya species available to hybridizers. Fred also will discuss orchid culture and repotting which is a very timely topic as we enter the spring repotting and dividing season.  Fred will be providing the plant opportunity table so bring yourself and friends for a very interesting and stimulating talk. If you are unable to attend in person, we will be streaming Fred’s talk on zoom.

Most of our members know Fred Clarke well, since he is a frequent speaker, a life member, friend and long-time supporter of our society.  For those of you who do not know him, Fred has been growing orchids for 42 years and has been hybridizing for 38 of those years. With over 34 years as a professional grower and manager in the horticultural industry, Fred applies these skills at his orchid nursery, Sunset Valley Orchids, located in Vista, California, just north of San Diego. His website has a wealth of information on growing orchids, many pictures of his award-winning orchids, as well as a variety of orchid genera for sale.   Read more »

Wed, 05/03/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

April 2023 – Gilberto Castro

Gilberto CastroGilberto CastroWe are delighted to welcome Gilberto Castro, a native of Brazil, to speak to our society for the first time on Wednesday, April 5th. Gilberto will talk about the Brazilian Amazon and share with us some of his extensive knowledge of the Amazon to tell us what it is like, show some pictures of the area and highlight some of the orchids that can be seen there. 

Gilberto is definitely a longtime expert on the Amazon and, since 2006 when he built his Houseboat ‘Otter’, he has conducted many expeditions using the Otter including 5 trips since 2015 for the Orchid Conservation Alliance. SDCOS’s Peter Tobias, who organizes trips for the OCA, will be hosting Gilberto during his visit to San Diego.  Gilberto also will be speaking to SDCOS members on this same topic on Tuesday evening, April 4th in Balboa Park. 

Gilberto Castro was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 8, 1949. He lived in the US from 1965 to 1966, attending as a junior at Benson High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He returned to Brazil to continue his education and graduated in Natural History at the "Instituto de Biologia", “Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro" in 1972, and at the “Faculdade de Educação” of the “Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro" in 1973.   Read more »

Wed, 04/05/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

March 2023 – Culture Class

Our March meeting represents the first culture meeting of the year that features two our very experienced orchid growers, Ken Campbell and Jerry Spencer, who will share their orchid knowledge with us. Ken will speak to us about pest and virus management.  Ken has considerable experience in growing orchids in his small greenhouse that contains both mounted and potted cattleyas, phalaenopsis and hanging vandas. Ken says that if managing the temperature, the amount of light, and an irrigation and fertilization schedule isn’t enough of a challenge growing orchids, let’s not forget dealing with our friends the orchid pests.  Creepy little things like aphids, mealy bugs, scale, snails and the like.  In his presentation, Ken will talk about how to detect the presence of these unwanted visitors, identify who they are, and then successfully deal with them.   Lastly, no discussion regarding orchid threats would fail to include at least a few words about orchid viruses… so he will have a brief discussion covering that topic as well.      

Jerry Spencer will discuss his ‘5 Favorite Orchids’ why they are his favorites, where he grows them, what they like/dislike and when they bloom. As most of you are aware, Anita and Jerry Spencer are well-known for their award-winning orchids and their specialization in specimen size orchids that have won many local and AOS awards. Some of those award winners will be featured in Jerry’s presentation.

Both talks should be very educational for members new to growing orchids as well as our more experienced orchid enthusiasts and are well worth attending to broaden your orchid knowledge.

Jerry and Anita will be providing this month’s plant table.

Wed, 03/01/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

February 2023 – Brandon Tam

Brando TamBrando TamWe are delighted to welcome back our friend Brandon Tam, Orchid Collection Specialist at the Huntington Library, who will take us through a virtual tour of The Huntington’s Orchid Collection. As the Orchid Collection Specialist, Brandon curates one of the largest and most diverse orchid species collections in the world, including over 1500 unique species and 3,600 different varieties across 280 orchid genera. He oversees day-to-day horticultural operations, including acquisitions, propagation, conservation, and supervision of over 40 orchid volunteers. Under Brandon's stewardship, The Huntington has won over 100 awards from the American Orchid Society. He supervises numerous public education events, such as orchid shows, orchid judgings, and conferences. Additionally, Brandon co-curates the Amorphophallus titanum (corpse flower) collection of 43 mature specimens and has exhibited over ten blooming specimens. Brandon started as the Orchid Collection Specialist at The Huntington at age 16 while concurrently earning his bachelor's degree in plant science from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, which he completed in 2015. Brandon is an extremely knowledgeable orchidist whose presentation is not to be missed, especially if you’ve never visited the extensive gardens of The Huntington.   Read more »

Wed, 02/01/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm