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. 

Fūkiran’s popularity is now bigger than ever. Satomi has experience in growing these plants both in Japan and America, she is fluent in both languages and is familiar with both cultures. She has been a judge of Fūkiran events for almost a decade and her goal is to be a bridge to connect both countries and help as many people learn and enjoy growing Fūkiran.

Satomi is the founder of the Fūkiran Society of America, created to promote Fūkiran growing in the United States, Canada and other parts the world. The Fūkiran Society of America is an offshoot of the Japan Fūkiran Society, which is responsible for registering Neofinetia falcata varieties. There are over 250 registered varieties, but if you add unregistered varieties to that, the total is 1000. 

For those of you who want to learn more about Fūkiran and Seed Engei, our own Phyllis Prestia who is an avid Fūkiran afficionado, conducted a very nice, informative interview with Satomi that was published in Orchid Digest last year.

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