January 2020 – Mary Gerritsen

Mary GerritsenMary GerritsenWe are delighted to welcome back Mary Gerritsen from the San Francisco Bay area who will speak to us on ‘Miniature Orchids and How to Grow Them’.  Mary defines miniatures as those species whose individual growths are smaller than 6 inches not including the inflorescence.  These compact orchids are a popular choice for orchid hobbyists with limited growing space. In contrast to many of their larger counterparts, many miniature orchids are attractive in or out of bloom. Mary’s lecture will cover many of her favorite species as well as discussing the challenges and rewards of growing miniature orchids. Mary is an expert on this topic and has co-authored “A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species” with San Francisco Bay area photographer and author, Ron Parsons. 

Mary Gerritsen, Ph.D. is an independent biotechnology consultant who has been growing orchids (mostly species) on and off for more than 30 years, and since relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1997 started to a collection of small cool growing miniature species such as Masdevallias, Porroglossums, Lepanthes and other assorted tiny gems. She also has a second intermediate greenhouse, filled with larger species such as Angraecoids, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, Laelias, Phalaenopsis and Bulbophyllums. She loves to see orchids growing in situ, and has made it her mission over the last few years to see as many as possible, with trips to see and photograph orchids (and other flora as well) in Canada, many parts of the USA and Mexico, and countries in Central America (Costa Rica, Panama), South America (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezeula), South East Asia (Borneo, southern and southwestern China, Sulawesi, northern Thailand, Papua New Guinea), western Australia, Europe (Crete, Cyprus, Germany, Mallorca, Rhodes and Sicily) as well as South Africa and Madagascar. 

Mary is the co-author of several botanical books: Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World; Calochortus, Mariposa Lilies and their Relatives; A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species; A Bay Area Guide to Orchids and their Culture; and the American Orchid Society Guide to Orchid and their Culture, with fellow San Francisco Orchid Society Member and well known photographer, Ron Parsons. 

Mary frequently lectures to orchid societies in the San Francisco Bay area, and on occasion, nearby Southern California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and sometimes even further afield (Missouri, Kansas, Canada). She is on the board of directors of the Orchid Digest, the chief operating officer and treasurer of the Orchid Conservation Alliance, and is also a member of the American Orchid Society, the San Francisco Orchid Society, the Peninsula Orchid Society and the Pleurothallid Alliance.

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm