March 2018 – Thomas Mirenda

Thomas MirendaThomas MirendaWe are happy to welcome back Thomas Mirenda of the Hawaii Tropical Botanic Garden.  Tom is a highly sought after orchid specialist who is very knowledgeable on many facets of orchid biology as well as on numerous classes of orchids. Tom will be speaking to us on "Herding Catts: A Beautiful Walk through a Difficult Phylogeny" a talk which overviews the most popular orchids, the cattleyas and their relatives. The cattleya alliance has recently undergone a very confusing and unpopular revision by taxonomists. Tom's talk will seek to clear up some of the controversies on this interesting class of orchids.

Tom's visit is being co-hosted by POS and the SDCOS. Accordingly, he will speak on "The Big Island Orchid Scene!" on Tuesday, March 6 to SDCOS in Balboa Park. POS members are welcome to attend this talk as well. The plant table will be supplied by one of our local orchid vendors.

In September of 2017, Tom accepted an exciting new position as the Director of Horticulture, Education and Outreach at the Hawaii Tropical Botanic Garden on the Big Island of Hawaii.  For the previous 17 years, Tom was the Orchid Collection Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution, caring for and curating an extremely diverse collection of orchid species and hybrids from all over the world. He was active in developing and producing huge educational exhibits using the collection plants and visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors.   Read more »

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

February 2018 – Andrew Cameron

Andrew CameronAndrew CameronOur society is happy to welcome Andy Cameron, Ph.D., from California Institute of Technology.  Andy will be speaking to us on the importance of genes and chromosomes in orchids. The title of his talk is "Steamy Stories:  How Genes and Chromosomes Do Their Dance." In the present era of genomics, concepts involving DNA, genes and chromosomes are offered to explain many of the everyday processes that we, as orchidists, find fascinating. How do genes affect the shape and colors of orchid flowers? What can the number of chromosomes tell us about our favorite cymbidium hybrids? The relevance of these questions to our understanding of the growth and hybridization of cymbidiums emerges from stories about the way the genetic material behaves during plant growth and form.  His talk will take place in the Lake San Marcos conference center which is located near the pavilion.

Andy is a semi-retired member of the research faculty at the California Institute of Technology. He studies how the  genomes of marine creatures like sea urchins and sea stars dictate the form of these animals. He is past president of the San Gabriel Valley Branch of the Cymbidium Society of America and an Associate Judge for the CSA. He writes the Duffer's Corner column for the CSA Journal. He also tries to convince cymbidiums and other cool-growing orchids that Pasadena is a good place to live. One of his major goals is to introduce orchid hobbyists to the wonderful body of biological information that underlies their pursuits.   Read more »

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

January 2018 – Fred Clarke

Fred ClarkeFred ClarkeWe are delighted to welcome back one of our favorite and most accomplished speakers, Fred Clarke. Fred will speak to us about "Orchid Flower Judging" and will gear his talk to amateurs who would like to learn how AOS judges evaluate flowers and what criteria are used to award plants. The talk will be interactive and he will use some of the plants that are brought in by members for our show-and-tell to demonstrate what constitutes an awardable plant.  Fred is an ideal person to speak on this topic since he is a long time accredited American Orchid Society Judge in the Pacific South Judging Region and his orchids have received hundreds of awards, including 8 that have received the highest honor, the 'First Class Certificate' (FCC). 

Fred is a generous supporter and life member of the Palomar Orchid Society. He has been growing orchids since 1977 and has been hybridizing for 36 of those years. With over 30 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 nursery's website,, has considerable information on plants for sale and many beautiful pictures of his award winning orchids. He is a passionate orchid grower whose curiosity in orchids is broad and varied.    Read more »

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

November 2017 – Arnold Gum

Arnold GumArnold GumIt is a pleasure to welcome back Arnold Gum to our society.  Arnold will present a travel log on his trips to Taiwan, as a guest of the Taiwanese government, to judge the Taiwanese International Orchid Show.  Arnold also spent some time exploring Taiwan including looking at some of their wild orchids, visiting orchid nurseries, and having wonderful meals with the Mayor of Tainan (in the South of Taiwan) and the President of Taiwan, visiting amazing temples, the national museum, the pottery museum, and of course, shopping.  Arnold will review the highlights of his trips to this orchid rich part of the world. It is a presentation not to be missed.

Arnold Gum is a patent attorney by profession, working locally at Qualcomm. He has been growing orchids for over 45 years and spent his youth with some of Hawaii's greatest orchid pioneers including Ben Kodama, Tadao Kazumura, Isamu Ota, Richard Takafuji, Richard Takase, and Goodale Moir.  Arnold has been an American Orchid Society Judge for around 25 years and has been a member of various orchid societies along the way.  He has won over 85 AOS awards and grows all sorts of orchids including cattleyas, phalaenopsis, papiopedilums, including lots of rare and amazing plants. Over the years, Arnold has amassed a collection of several thousand plants. Like many of us, Arnold also grows other types of plants, including epiphyllum cacti, aloes, plumerias, and fruit trees.

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Annual Holiday Dinner

The Palomar Orchid Society will be holding their annual Holiday Dinner and Officer installation on Wednesday, December 6 at Chan’s Chinese Restaurant located at 1650 Descanso Avenue, San Marcos, just off Highway 78 at the Rancho Santa Fe exit (ph. (760) 471-6088). This is the same location as last year 

The deadline for sign up was November 20, but procrastinators can still sign up by contacting Bill Wong no later than November 30 to reserve your place at the table. Bill’s phone number is (760) 931-0502 and his email is

The cost is $26 per person and includes a multi-course dinner and an orchid plant for members in good standing. Members may bring a guest if they choose to pay for them. The dinner menu is in the process of being finalized and will be similar to last year’s with appetizers, multiple main courses, tea and a fortune cookie. A cash bar will be available for those wanting beer, wine or mixed drinks. 

We hope you will join us for fun, food, good conversation and mutual enjoyment of orchids. Please plan to arrive at 6 pm with dinner to be served at 6:30 pm. 

Deadline for receipt of your payment is Monday, December 4, 2017. No payments accepted at the door! 

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 6:00pm - 9:30pm

October 2017 – Ron Parsons

Ron ParsonsRon ParsonsWe are happy to welcome back Ron Parsons to our society. Ron will be speaking on the Orchids of Sichuan, China. In June of 2012, Ron was fortunate enough to attend a tour in the province of Sichuan, China led by the late Holger Perner and his wife, Wenqing to see Cypripediums and other native orchids in habitat. They traveled through the northern reaches of the province, seeing some of the most spectacular scenery and wildflowers Ron has ever seen. They visited two World Heritage Sites of such natural beauty, and traveled through different ethnic regions (although most of the people in this area are Tibetan), and the tour of six visitors had a truly incredible adventure. Ron had such a fantastic time that he joined the tour for a second visit in 2013! He will be describing his experiences from the trip and show us many beautiful pics of orchids he observed during his visit.   Read more »

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

September 2017 – Peter Lin

Peter LinPeter LinWe are delighted to welcome back Peter T. Lin to our society. Peter is one of our favorite speakers who will be talking about the Genus Dendrobium. He will present a fast paced PowerPoint presentation on this fascinating genus of over 1000 species! The title of his presentation is "Genus Dendrobium: a Family Portrait of Dendrobium Species"

Dendrobiums are primarily found in Asia, New Guinea and Australia. There are many different classifications within the genus, with species ranging from tiny miniatures to huge giants. They grow in climates ranging from hot and steamy lowlands, cool and moist mountain ranges, to seasonally dry savannas. Many are quite temperature tolerant and can be grown outside in frost-free areas. Peter will review a few of the important species in each classification. He will provide some basic cultural advice for each species, and there will be time for questions at the end of the program.

Peter started growing orchids over 35 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 hundreds of photos of his orchids that he maintains on Flickr.   Read more »

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

August 2017 – Curtis Gean

Curtis Gean (left), relocating orchids in MexicoCurtis Gean (left), relocating orchids in MexicoWe are delighted to welcome to our society Curtis Gean of Sierra Vista Orchids, Sanger, CA. Curtis will speak on ‘Laelia anceps – the Color Forms and Their Influence on Hybridizing’.  He will address the various results when using L. anceps as a parent. Curtis will answer your questions and provide the plant opportunity table with emphasis on the topic of his talk. He also will have a few plants for sale.  As a small quiz, Curtis has included a pic of L. anceps along with two anceps hybrids, Hybrid 1 and Hybrid 2. Attendees should try to figure out what the other parent is, which will be revealed during his talk.  Curtis is a shared speaker with SDCOS and will be presenting a talk on ‘Hybridizing with Oncidium lecuochilum and Baptistonia echinata’ on Tuesday, August 1 in Balboa Park. All are welcome to attend.

Curtis is a semi-retired photographer/videographer that has had a long time interest in orchids.  After dabbling in hybrid roses, he was introduced to orchids in 1970 because of his need to use some plants and flowers in a photo shoot.  The gentleman that provided his introduction was Homer C. Dodson, who later became his mentor.   Read more »

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

July 2017 – Gil Ho

Gil HoGil HoWe are delighted to welcome back former POS President Dr. Gil Ho. Gil will be speaking about Stanhopeas, epiphytic orchids originating from Central and South America. The title of his presentation is "The Hybrids of Stanhopeas: Mixing it Up!"

Stanhopea is an unusual and interesting genus of very fragrant orchids comprised of 66 species and an increasing number of hybrids. Gil will review briefly Stanhopea orchids in general and then discuss in detail the thinking behind Stanhopea hybrids and their wonderful varieties, followed by an introduction of creative intergeneric hybrids with Stanhopeas and related genera. This should be an informative and fun talk!

Dr. Gil Ho is a practicing neurologist and has been growing orchids for enjoyment for many years and has a special interest in Stanhopeas, Lycastes, Paphiopedilum, although he grows a little of nearly every orchid genera. He has been active with orchids over the last 15 years and loves the chance to pass on his orchid interests and experiences to others.

This month’s plant table will be supplied by Alex Nadzan and will include a few of his own cattleya hybrids.

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

June 2017 – Tim Culbertson

Tim CulbertsonTim CulbertsonPOS is pleased to welcome Tim Culbertson who will be sharing his presentation on Laelia purpurata, the Queen of the Cattleyas”.  Although large, these spectacular cattleyas grow well outside in Southern California, and with their myriad colors and a relatively unique blooming time, these are great plants for every collection, extending the blooming times in the Cattleya Alliance through July.  With more and more Laelia purpurata clones and seedlings coming in from Brazil, and large grexes being bred in the United States, these stately, magnificent plants have seen a resurgence in popularity of late, and with good reason!  By the end of this presentation, you will have a new appreciation of the range of color forms of Laelia purpurata and its hybrids, as well as an appreciation of their beautiful flowers and ease-of-growth.  Tim will be providing a plant table of outdoor growing cattleyas, including many plants of Laelia purpurata in bud. He also will have additional plants for sale   Read more »

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm