The Journal of the Canadian Orchid Congress
Le Journal de la Fédération Canadienne des Sociétés Orchidophiles

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Volume 5.3
May 1993

Editor: Malcolm Adams

The 14th World Orchid Congress and Show
Editors Notes
Growing Specimen Plants
Education Report
Common Sense
Visit to Vanuata

The 14th World Orchid Congress and Show

COC President Annette Bagby reports on the WOC held in Glasgow, Scotland and brings you up to date with happenings in Canada.

Glasgow was wonderful! We even had sunshine and warm weather for most of the time - so much for all those doubting Thomases who said the sun never shines in Scotland.


Since I helped setup the Eric Young Foundation exhibit, I was in on the ground floor so to speak and watched the show grow from bare bones. I found that a little worrisome. To begin with there just didn't seem to be enough exhibitors, but of course that was just because most exhibits didn't need eight people working from nine to six for three days to set up!!

THE ERIC YOUNG EXHIBIT WAS HUGE! As the days passed and the backs ached more and more exhibits arrived and the show took shape.

As Norito Hasegawa (Paphanatics Unlimited, USA) observed later, it was one of the best shows in some years because of the great variety of exhibits. Unlike some parts of the world which are known for their Cymbidium or Vandaceous alliance, Scotland is basically a nation of hobby growers, and although there are some large commercial orchid growers in England, they are not as specialized as in other parts of the world. The result was a show with more species and variety of hybrids than usual. Of course we still had the wonderful exhibits of cut flowers from the Asian growers which add so much colour and flair, and a spectacular exhibit by the Glasgow Parks Department full of incredibly exotic plant materials, a fabulous waterfall surrounded by moss and liverwort covered rocks and festooned with phalaenopsis. At the other end of the spectrum were tiny perfect exhibits in Wardian cases and a simple exhibit from Moscow of some of the most exotic Jewel orchids I've ever seen.

As an AOS student judge I was able to take part in the judging process as a clerk and it turned out to be an amazing experience. To begin with, there was NO REGISTRATI0N. This meant that it was up to the judges to find every plant in their judging category and then judge the three best! There were 376 categoties and 38 judging teams. I was assigned to Team 38 - our assignment, Any Other Species and Hybrids! - which is to say any orchid that didn't fit into any other category!!! I leave it to your imagination - I will say that it made one aware of how many weird and wonderful orchids made their way to the 14th World Orchid Conference.

There were two, and sometimes three, sets of lectures taking place at the same time which meant that you always felt you were missing something, this always happens and I'm sure it helps to sell the Proceedings. There was some bagpipe music, not enough for those of us who love it, but maybe enough for those who don't. There was entertainment in the evenings and haggis for breakfast, what more could you ask?

On the last day I joined Wally Thomas and his team from Vancouver in their presentation to the Selection Committee. And YES they did win the bid!! -IN 1999, VANCOUVER WILL HOLD THE 16th WOC.



I am sending out the questionaire that will be the basis for our COC booklet on the Canadian Orchid Scene,please return it as promptly as possible.

By now you will have received Howard Ginsberg's letter regarding the Fall Speakers Tour. I have visited H & R in Hawaii and grow a number of their plants and am delighted that they have agreed to do the tour. I'm sure the variety and quality of their orchids will please everyone. Howard came through in the pinch again.

AND Howard has been brilliant once again - it annoys him that this always surprises in me - he has discovered an arrangement with Canadian Airlines that could Facilitate our travel to the annual meetings.

By quoting our special Convention Number (This will be published starting in the Fall Newsletter) the following benefits would be available:

It all helps! - So start thinking Winnipeg, April 8-10, 1994. Have a wonderful summer and some great orchid surprises - Good growing,

Annette Bagby, President, COC

Editors Notes


There were two 'typos' on page 6 of the previous issue of COCnews: My apologies.


I have been requested to write a brief explanation on the scanning process since there are probably some readers who are not aware of this fairly recent computer technology.

A scanner is a device that is capable of transforming a printed image (graphic or text) into digital code in much the same way as a fax machine does - in fact a standard fax machine can be used as a scanner when coupled to a computer with appropriate software and mechanical interface.

Scanners come in various sizes and formats including hand scanners that are limited to copying 4.25 inch strips and intended mainly for amateur use, full page scanners that are capable of copying 8.5 x 11 inch up to 11 x 17 inch sheets, and industrial machines capable of copying large format technical drawings.

A computer file of a graphical image (photograph, painting, sketch, etc.) can be manipulated directly by one of the many graphic software programs, but scanned text must first be translated into ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange format so that it can be edited or printed using a standard word processor.

This is accomplished with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software. Strips of scanned text can be stitched' together quite easily to make a whole document prior to OCR translation but complex images require considerable care to successfully and seamlessly join together.

All correspondence should be sent to:COCnews, c/o Malcolm Adams, 699 Cardinal, St. Hilaire, Quebec, J3H 3Z5.


I am sure all of us at one time or another have covetously looked at a plant on our monthly show table or judging show and dreamed or schemed of owning THAT plant! It really is possible with a little time and effort on your part to stand back proudly and say "It's mine!".

When I chose this topic to write on I was amazed at how little (almost nothing) is written on how to achieve specimen plants. And the articles there are advise using three plants in the same pot which is totally unacceptable to judges in our area. Most growers I spoke to said ... "Oh I just pot it on....".

To obtain success with specimen plants you must choose a plant that will fit a certain criteria. It should:

Once you have decided on the plant you want to grow on, choose the best three to six growths and repot keeping the plant as best you can in a circular shape. Only plant into a pot which will allow one years growth. It is better to pot on every year or two to allow YOU to clean up the plant and shape it as YOU go.

When you have potted on about three or four times (5 to 8 years) you should have a fairly good specimen. The culture of growing the plant is something you will already be familiar with and does not need to be gone into here, other than to advise you not to water your plant for one week before reporting to make it easier to remove the plant from the pot.

One culture tip I will give is to try to have your plant grow from the centre in all directions. For some genera this is not a natural habit. One way to increase the growth is to partially cut through the rhizome between the pseudobulbs taking care not to completely cut through. This will allow you to set the plant in the pot, and being careful not to break the plant apart, to gently form a circle. It will also help the plant by forcing some of the old eyes to grow. Remember, if you break it you will have lost several years of specimen growth as the plant must be in one piece to qualify as a specimen.

Choosing the right plant to grow on does take some careful consideration. It should be from a genera you are successful with and if possible one that flowers that lend themselves to good specimen plants are:

If you were to look at each genera you would find most have something to offer which would be acceptable to grow on as a specimen. If space is a problem look to one of the smaller genera, or the miniatures available in the genera. Encyclia, coelogyne, laelia and aeranthes and others all have small plants that would be excellent for specimen culture.

This should give you some idea of starting to grow a specimen and happy growing.

Marjorie Disher, Vancouver 0. S.

Annual Report of the Education Committee

An edited version of the annual report of the Education Committee submitted to the Canadian Orchid Congress in Nanaimo, BC by Chairperson Marilyn Light


At the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Orchid Congress held in Toronto in May 1992, delegates voted to support a project, namely the production of an educational video about Lady's Slippers and the conservation efforts of the late Joesph Pardon. The project was to be done in collaboration with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, the Ottawa Orchid Society, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Copies of the finished video would be distributed to member societies of the COC. This project is very near to completion and still within budget.

Video Project

Those working on the initial phases of the project included Peter Gauer (producer, liaison with CBC, camera), Michael Yee (Conservation Authority Education Officer), Joyce and Allan Reddoch (research), and Marilyn Light (writer, director).

After initial research and meetings with Conservation Authority personnel, a storyboard was created. This document provided an outline of scenes and timing required to present the story from beginning to end. A total of five filming sessions were planned excluding studio work.

These sessions included:

An average of four hours was spent per filming session.

We were entirely dependent upon the availability of a CBC camera when we needed it. Fortunately, camera availability, weather and orchids cooperated to allow us to complete this phase of the production by early December 1992.

A total of five studio sessions were required to complete the visual portion of the video for a total of 48 hours. Studio sessions were subject to sporadic avahability. Film editing was completed by February 14, 1993. During these sessions, film was reviewed, scenes chosen and fitted to together to produce the desired effect. A state-of-the-art computerized system and the invaluable assistance of professional film editors allowed us to have slow motion effects, to fade from one scene to another, to produce split screen images, to highlight items and to overlay logos and credits. A script was written to accompany the video presentation. The script was edited for the listener's ear by a television professional, Terry Gauer, and for accuracy by Conservation Authority personnel, Joyce and Allan Reddoch and others. A professional announcer read the script. The musical score was provided by two artists. The audio portion of the work was completed by February 24, 1993.

We estimate the project to be within budget. Production costs have been kept to a virtual minimum thanks mostly to the efforts of the Producer, Peter Gauer, and to the generosity of the C.B.C. We arec legally required to deposit two copies of the tape with the National Library of Canada (Canadiana Acquisition Division) within two weeks of publication.


During the past year, a bilingual exhibit about orchid recognition and flasking was produced and staged for use by the Canadian wildlife Service, Environment Canada. This exhibit was in circulation for about six months and travelled to various centres in Canada.


While videotapes are very worthwhile and rewarding ventures they are not the only means by which information can be disseminated. Written information can be exchanged through the newsletter and other publications. Information can also be exchanged on computer bulletin boards and through telephone conference forums. Orchid growers across the country can and should benefit from the experience of others elsewhere. What is needed is a suitable vehicle to facilitate the sharing of knowledge.


Over the past year I have been contacting various professional colleagues who might be willing to participate in an information exchange forum on a variety of subjects including conservation, hybridization, raising orchids from seed, and growing conditions. These persons include Dirk Kapteyn den Boumeester (Netherlands - editor, Eurorchis), Margaret Ramsay (England - Kew), Walter del Pinal (Guatemala - education committee), Jurgen Bohm (Germany), Edward Greenwood (Mexico), and Michael Burkitt (Barbados). The Europeans are particularly interested in our practical conservation initiatives and are interested in exchanging information with us. Information provided by resource persons would best be published in the newsletter but could also be disseminated in other ways such as correspondence. Reciprocal exchange would best be the responsibility of those primarily interested in a particular subject.


Research in any aspect of orchid appreciation could be considered for projects. Conservation, propagation, hybridization, cultivation, history and art can all be addressed. Support of youth, interested in an orchid-oricnted hobby or career is a laudable endeavour. Projects can be encouraged by creating a youth exhibit category at a local show or by sponsoring an orchid-related science fair project at a local school.


There are few orchid biologists worldwide and still fewer Canadians pursuing a career in this domain. In 1991, Raymond Tremblay (Ottawa O.S.) was accepted as a Ph.D. candidate with the University of Puerto Rico. His thesis will be on the Lepanthes species of Puerto Rico. The Ottawa Orchid Society offers Raymond a small annual bursary to encourage and support his studies.


Orchid propagation is technically of interest to a core of orchid growers and generally important to anyone espousing the conservation ethic. Teaching how to do it is relatively simple on a one to one basis or in a classroom setting. I have taught an orchid propagation course to more than 80 persons over the past ten years and most recently to 18 Calgary orchid growers. Many had read about the process but found the opportunity to see someone doing it invaluable. Perhaps most important is that many of those taking the course now raise orchid species and hybrids from seed and are making an important contribution to conservation and to orchid growing in Canada. Two such individuals are Egon Dreise (Laval Orchids) formerly of Montreal and now of Calgary, and Eleanor Sweny (Northern Ridge) of Ottawa.


Orchid hybridization is of interest to growers and speculators in the "stalk" market. Speaker tours by internationally respected hybridizers of popular genera are very effective educational tools. A large part of any meaningful hybridization program is the personal experience and research of the hybridizer. This is best discussed face to face. Slide tape programs, videos and written articles offer other ways of disseminating the necessary information but personal discussion is most effective.


People who grow orchids want to talk about their experiences with others. They need an effective mechanism to facilitate exchange of information. The C.O.C. can presumably play a role here. The newsletter is one very good mechanism to encourage information exchange but is ineffective if the information does not get to the individuals who can use it. The person to whom the newsletter is addressed (often the C.O.C. representative) must be willing to disseminate information to their Society members otherwise all is in vain. Perhaps the role of the COC Representative/newsletter recipient should be discussed with each member sociery to ensure that the newsletter and/or the information is sent to someone who will make appropriate use of it.


The "challenge" is the most frequently cited reason why people grow orchids. Often the best way to learn how to grow orchids is to see how others do it, ask questions, experiment, and then share that experience with others who started much the same way. Perhaps this is why orchid societies exist. Anything that the Canadian Orchid Congress can do to facilitate information exchange and increased awareness should be encouraged.

Marilyn Light - Chairperson, COC Education Committee

Common Sense Observations

All of us who grow orchids (and other plants as well), are familiar with the need to get rid of those nasty bugs! There are many articles written about what to do - when.... but I find that the hobby grower simply gets too much advice on different creatures and chemicals and we find it difficult to remember all those fancy words. I would like to point out one thing that everyone should recognize - that is which things to use against what critter! In general, we can go to the den shop and look for:

Try not to use herbicides - they will kill your plants!

We have to reake that these chemical compounds are working precisely on their targets. It is completely useless to try to cure a bacterial infection with anything else than a bactericide. If you have insects to kill, you should not use anything else but an insect killer.

Another problem is that many insects can very quickly develop an immunity against the chemicals you have just sprayed. Therefore, you have to alternate poisons. You should also make several applications,to be certain YOU are getting both the adults and their off-spring.

All of these poisonous chemicals can be either surface acting or systemic (absorbed by the plant) - and they are all TOXIC- not only to the bad bugs and disease, but also to nice orchidists! Of course, there are several products which are not as bad for people as others, these are the so called safe poisons' (which is, in my opinion, a strange combination of words)

Whatever chemical product you use - PLEASE - take care.

Ingrid Ostrander, President, Victoria Orchid Society

Visit to Vanuatu

On April 27th we were treated to a first hand account of Victoria 0. S. past-president Dr. Hank Blouw's visit to Vanuatu, a group of Pacific islands west of Fiji.

He explained that the word Vanuatu means 'our country'. Once known as the New Hebrides, it is now a republic. In spite of being only 19 degrees south of the equator, he was suprised at the very cold nights. Otherwise, the climate was much like that of Hawaii.

Having closed his practice in Victoria, he was free to offer his services to the natives of Vanuatu under CUSO sponsorship. They settled in Tanna, the southernmost island of the group. Tanna is about the size of the Saanich Peninsular. Close by is an active and noisy volcano!

He discovered many tropical plants in addition to orchids, such as the highly scented Plumeria and a nightblooming cactus. One of the first orchids seen was a group of Spathoglottis, with their small flowers on tall spikes, growing on the ground. Dendrobiums were plentiful too. He was amazed at how quickly an orchid plucked from the bush would re-establish itself on a nearby tree - just a matter of three to four months.

John Skatliff, Victoria Orchid Society

COC news

Published for the members of the Canadian Orchid Congress.

Editor:Malcolm Adams
Assistant:Judy Adams

The purpose of COC news is to inform members of the meetings, policies of the COC, to profile members, and to provide technical information regarding happenings, trends and techniques in orchid culivation across the country and around the world.

We welcome your suggestions and contributions. Deadline for each issue is 1 month before the issue dates previously anounced.

Articles in this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the Canadian Orchid Congress.

Recipients of this newsletter are strongly urged to pass a copy on to other members of their society

Officers of the Canadian Orchid Congress

President	Annette Bagby
Past President 	Ken Girard
Vice-President	Steve Saunders
Treasurer	Marjorie Disher
Secretary	Annie Cairns

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