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.

Tim has a very diverse, broad background in orchids and plants which is evident from his own words: “Although I teach middle school kids for a living, one of my passions has always been plants.  I began growing orchids as an offshoot from working at Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia just after college.  From the very beginning it was all about Paphs, particularly awarded and select clones of historic importance, of which my collection numbers nearly 3000.  While I love finding old, rare stepping stones in paph breeding, I also do a little hybridizing of my own, and growing up my own babies is a blast.  I am an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society, and have served in various capacities with various orchid societies in California and on the East Coast.  I love meeting other people who like orchids too, and doing so often finds me traveling to shows, vendors, and peoples’ greenhouses to see the latest and greatest in new hybrids and to get the best orchid gossip.  I like to be involved in plants as much as possible: in addition to Longwood, I’ve worked at the Smithsonian Institution tending to their orchids, and for years for the United States National Arboretum, collecting rare plants and documenting cultivated species and hybrids for their herbarium.  In short, I really like plants.”  

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