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

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Volume 5.4
September 1993

Editor: Malcolm Adams

End of Summer Message
The New Brunswick Show - a light-hearted view
New Orchid Society in British Columbia
Q&A - what causes a tube leaf
Orchid Society News from Atlantic Canada
In Praise of an East Window
Manitoba Orchid Now Listed as Endangered
For the Love of Orchids - in living memory

End of Summer Message

COC President presents her end of summer message and brings you up to date with orchid happenings in Canada.

Hello Orchid Friends, I hope I'm not the only one who can't believe summer is over. Every year I can't wait 'till summer when everything goes on hold and I'm finally supposed to find the time and energy to do all those things, fun and business, that I've been meaning to get to all year. Well ... Fall is always a good time to get caught up I find ... don't you!


By now you should all have received your video from Marilyn Light, our Education Committee Chairman. We owe both Marilyn and Peter Gauer a great vote of thanks for their work on this project. Like most things, it is difficult if not impossible for those of us not involved to appreciate the time, effort, and numerous frustrations of such a project. Thank you both most sincerely for your contribution.


By the time you receive this newsletter you should be expecting our Fall Speaker any day. I'm particularly looking forward to Harry Akagi's visit as I have always been very impressed with the quality of H&R's plants and intrigued with the unusual species they carry. I hope you will be equally unpressed. AGAIN, thank you Howard Ginsberg for the hours of organizationand frustration put into this visit.


If you have not yet sent your tour fees or membership fees to the treasurer, please do so right away.There have been some problems setting up the new account but hopefully by the time you receive this they will be ironed out. Marjorie's address is:
Marjorie Disher
117 - 2303 Cranley Drive
White Rock, B.C., V4A 7V3


At the beginning of July I sent a letter to all the COC reps asking them to send me:

I'm afraid I've only heard back from about half of you so far. In some cases I realize that your elections are not held until September or later but I still need the other information.


To recap, the COC is setting up a February Speakers Tour. The speaker will be Malcolm Adams, our editor. Malcolm has a small greenhouse for his orchids but also grows Pleurothallids indoors.

His talk will illustrate the design, construction and operation of his cold and intermediate wardian type cases, how he controls the environment, the problems involved and the successes and failures that have led him to this growing solution. Those of you who receive the Awards Quarterly will know that he must be doing something right!

This speaker should appeal to growers without a greenhouse but also to those with greenhouses who wish to have a separate area for plants requiring special temperatures.

The cost should be less than that of the Fall Tour as we do not have to bring Malcolm to Canada, but of
course it will depend on the participation of clubs across the country. It will take place in EARLY FEBRUARY as Malcolm has commitments at the end of the month. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU WISH TO BE INCLUDED IN THE FERUARY TOUR BY SEPTEMBER 30.
My address: Annette Bagby, Donnelly Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, L5G 2M4


Before the next newsletter you should be receiving the species list, the club and commercial updates, the proposed COC show schedule, and the beginners handout. SO WATCH THE MAIL!

Good growing and please keep in touch.

Annette Bagby, President COC

The New Brunswick Show - a light-hearted view

King Butler and I arrived at Ganong Hall in Saint John a little after 9:00pm. As soon as we managed to find a way to get into the building we were met by some members of the New Brunswick society who quickly commandeered a trolley and helped us get our plants, boxes, rotten logs, etc. upstairs and to our display location. Coffee was good and in plentiful supply which was just as well! Steve and Bev Saunders arrived late (11:OOpm) and apologized profusely, but it really didn't matter that much - we didn't finish setting up, labelling and tagging until after 1:00am. I feel sure that we could have been finished sooner, but the coffee was good and so was dhe atmosphere of camaraderie! We were very reIieved to see Steve and Bev arrive with plants of just the right sizes and colours to solve some design probIems and proved essential to the completion of the display.

Steve's Styrofoam "rocks" also were very useful. I think that I may try my hand with a blow torch and cautiously attempt some "rock sculpting". The "rocks" are portable, stackable, look natural and are very light which cannot be said for my treasured water-logged stump.

Before we got a chance to look into finding a hotel or B. & B., OSNB member Cathy Xavier offered us accommodation. (Great! More money to spend on orchids!) I shared a room with Cathy Driver and was amazed to find someone else who didn't mind talking 'tiI 4:00am in the morning! I think that Cathy was still talking when I finally fell asleep.

We were up early 7:30am and back to the show to wet down the display and prepare for the judging which began at 9:00am. The judging was done by two teams and handled as quickly and fairly as was possible. We avoided judging our own plants and made choices by team consensus.

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur but I'm going to spill the beans on a part that involved our staid president, Steve Saunders! When we were preparing for the show, Steve did his level best to get me not to bring live moss for the display. He promised to bring dry sheet moss, and Spanish moss enough for the whole exhibit. True to my stubborn nature, I brought my live moss anyway. Steve was late, so my moss quickly found its way into the exhibit. Saturday, when King and I returned from lunch, and began to wet down the display again, we saw the snail slithering over a Phalaenopsis, then another one, and another. But the big caterpillar was the last straw! I couldn't believe it! Steve and Bev had been to the zoo and bought these life-like plastic critters and spread them throughout the display. Also, they had left instructions for the New Brunswick club members to remind us of the penalties of using live moss. I was overcome with laughter! That kind of levity can't be planned, but the wine and cheese at the end of day was a built in relaxer that also was much appreciated. Somewhere in the timetable there was a dinner out with the club members at a good, efficient restaurant. That, too, was fun.

On Sunday, we visited the home of Harold Coil to see his growing area. He was looking for advice on how to get more bloom from his plants. I'm not sure if we gave him any useful suggestions or not, but I learned something. Harold had apiece of an Encyclia citrina that he obtained from a fellow member. The plant was one of the most vigorous that I have seen and it was growing upright, in a pot, under intermediate conditions. Harold assured me that was how it was grown in their club,
and it blooms regularly! Encyclia citrina for those who do not know, it is suppose to grow hanging down, on a plaque in cold conditions. It also has a reputation of dying in a couple of years after flowering. Harold's pot was crammed with big, healthy pseudobulbs and crowned by the blue-green leaves that could only be Encyclia citrina. There is always somethingto learn from other growers.

Barbara McLean, Editor, OSNS Newsletter

New Orchid Society in British Columbia

Twelve individuals gathered together on April 14th, 1993, to form a new orchid society in South Central British Columbia This first meeting was held at dhe Kelowna Seniors' Centre. It was an interesting gathering of mostly strangers, with a common interest - orchids. A name for the society was discussed and Okanagan Orchid Society was chosen. The first executive is as follows:

President - Violet DeLong
Vice President/Programme Chairperson - Eugene Banziger
Secretary - Doreen Shuba
Treasurer/membership - Marianne Goldhawk
Cultural Advisor - Karl Vohs
Librarian - Margeret Patrick

The COC wishes the Okanagan Orchid Society good luck and good growing in the future.

Q&A - what causes a tube leaf

I have heard that "tube leaf" (a flower spike growing from the center of a Doritaenopsis thereby preventing the normal growth of subsequent leaves from this point) is a genetic flaw frequently found in Dtps. Pretty Nice. I have also heard that this condition can be influenced by culture. If so, what cultural conditions can cause or preferably prevent tube leaf? My Dtps. Pretty Nice 'Purple Magic' bloomed terminally the first time then once spiked normally from the same plant and after the maturation of a keiki it bloomed normally? Does the age of the plant have anything to do with this?

Tube leaves not only happen in Doritaenopsis but are also known throughout the realm of monopodials. The inflorescence grows up through the growing centre of the plant and the plant then ceases to grow. However most plants will then throw keikis.

I have heard many explanations, the most probable having a link with culture. The tube leaf and subsequent keikis have been described as "a last desperate attempt at survival".

Presumably therefore there was a serious possibly long-standing problem with culture. Trying to guess what the problem is in any one case is virtually impossible. If all other plants requiring the same culture (Phalaenopsis and Doritaenopsis) are growing well, it may not be culture but possibly a problem with the genetic makeup of the plant. (A mutation during the tissue culture stage?)

Howard Ginsberg

Orchid Society News from Atlantic Canada

On the map, Atlantic Canada looks quite large. But the population of the four Atlantic Provinces combined can barely match that of Metro Toronto, about two million. With this sparse population, it is little wonder that Atlantic Canada has only three small COC orchid societies.

The Orchid Society of Nova Scotia, centred around Halifax, is just over 10 years old. It is growing in members, about 70, and in ambition, the OSNS plans to host the 1996 Canadian Orchid Congress Meeting. OSNS's 1993 spring show was bigger than ever with more participation from the members and from the neighbouring Orchid Society of New Brunswick. While the OSNS has yet to host an AOS show, it certainly will in 1996. OSNS has begun to participate in other clubs' shows, but the distances are prohibitive. Chris and Mary Helleiner are perhaps dhe best known orchid hobbyists from Nova Scotia - but look out, there's others ready to make their marks

The Orchid Society of New Brunswick, based in St. John, New Brunswick, has been growing to up to about 50 members. Their last show in May 1993, was also bigger and better than ever. In part it was due to the work of the long time executive - Peter Kinsella, Catherine Powell and Cathy Xavier and in part to the influx of new talent from Ontario - Kathy Driver. They say Kathy Driver is now leaving New Brunswick, but she has cultivated a new appreciation in displaying orchids and I am sure that interest will continue to grow. Both the Orchid Society of Nova Scotia and a new orchid society in Fredericton, NB participated in last OSNB show.

In Fredericton, New Brunswick, a small informal orchid society of 15 or so members has started. Jane Seabrook, one of the founders, explains that they meet the third Sunday of the Month at the Fredericton Campus of the University of New Brunswick. Jane is a busy person - working for Agriculture Canada on tissue culture of potatoes (with experience in tissue culture of orchids!). She's also the driving force in the establishment of a botanical garden in Fredericton.

I'm sorry to say that the clubs on the Mainland have had very little contact with the Orchid Society of Newfoundland in St. John's. Please realize that St.John's is as far from Halifax by plane as Toronto, and flights to the island are usually more expensive. Driving requires a long ferry ride to the Rock.

In Atlantic Canada, orchid societies are faced with small population bases and long distances between clubs (it is an hour drive from Halifax, NS to St.John, NB). We're far from our AOS Region - North East judging center - in New York City - requiring two flights and most of a day from Halifax. But the hobby is growing here and we have more interaction between clubs than ever before.

Steve Saunders, President, OSNS

Steve Sanders is President of the Orchid Society of Nova Scotia. He is also Vice President of the COC and Chairperson of the COC Conservation Committee. The Saunders live with their pet iguana 'Flakey' and numerous tropical fish on Blysteiner Lake, south of Halifax

In Praise of an East Window

Barbara McLean, Editor of the OSNS newsletter, has written and illustrated this article on her major growing area and on some of the orchids in flower during July, 1993. The McLean's live on a cool and often foggy bay at Aspotogan on Nova Scotia's south shore.

I live on the south shore of Nova Scotia and do not experience the hot summers that much of Canada has to endure. I think this makes windowsill growing a little easier. In my east window, I have now in bloom:

I have also a multitude of other plants whose blooming time has not yet arrived or has past.

In spite of the number of plants grown in it, my East window is not big. It measures 33.5 inches wide x 52 inches high. I have made the best use of that space that I can by installing 3 tempered glass shelves the width of the window. Above the top shelf, I have a two-bulb, four-foot light fixture, and below the window I have a drum humidifier that runs all day, most days.The humidifier fits under a simple wooden frame fitted with an "egg crate" top instead of a wooden table top. The humidifier fan is on high and blows cool moist air up through my Masdevallias and Miltoniopsis. I grow my Masdevallias on this grid in the winter, and also when it is too hot to keep them outside in the summer. This seems to work quite well. The Miltoniopsis, too, like the circulation of cool moist air.

I have attached large suction cup hooks to the bottom of the lower glass shelves and I hang some of my small, light, mounted plants from these. (This system is less than satisfactory. I have to check the attachment of the suction cups every two weeks or so to prevent them from drying out and falling.) However, the Ornithocephalus inflexus and Sophronitis coccinea hanging this way bloom faithfully and my Encyclia citrina and seedling Aerangis seem happy.

Because of the humidifier, and the fact that my growing area is in a fairly small room, a combination bathroom/laundry room, the relative humidity is quite high. I think that this benefits all the plants.

When I first began growing orchids over ten years ago, I had neither the light fixture nor the humidifier, and I had good blooming from Phals., Onc. Kalihi, Paph concolor, some Miltonias, and a variety of smaller growing cattleyas. As with every other orchid grower that I know, I was not satisfied with my growing area I liked masdevallias and some of that other weird stuff, so I added the humidifier and the lights. Over the past year I have installed a four levyel light stand on a wall adjacent to my window. The top level is on a separate timer so that I can give my Paphs less light as Judy Adams (Eastern Canada Orchid Sociery) suggested.

Still, I feel that I have had good results. When I hear some of the problems encountered by my friends who have greenhouses- thousands of dollars needed to replace one curved pane of glass!, difficulty keeping the house cool enough in the summer, heating bills in the winter, fans that break down and vents that give trouble, I have only praise for my little east window.

So all you novice growers, if you have an east window, take heart, and try your hand! People no longer take a book or magazine into our bathroom; they simply spend the time admiring the flowers.

Barbara McLean - Editor, OSNS newsletter

Manitoba Orchid Now Listed as Endangered

The Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, Platanthera leucophaea, has been moved from the 'vulnerable' to 'endangered' category on the 1993 Canadian Endangered Species List by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). This orchid occurs at only one site in Manitoba and is threatened by the loss of tall grass prairie. An eastern race, the Prairie White-fringed Orchid is found in Southern Ontario. In Ontario, the species favours rich wet soil near marshes and bogs - areas considered to be prime agricultural land. The Western Prairie Fringed Orchid joins three other orchid species on this endangered list.

In Canada, COSEWIC draws up a list of endangered native species through a process quite separate from CITES. An organization called the Canadian Wildlife Advisory Council coordinates national wildlife conservation efforts. This council is composed of federal, provincial and territorial governments along with several national non-governmental organizations. COSEWIC is a standing committee of the Canadian Wildlife Advisory Council that's responsible for producing the official Canadian Endangered Species List.

COSEWIC 1993 Canadian Endangered Species List categorizes 236 plant and animal species as either extinct, extirpated (wild populations no longer exists in Canada but do exist in another country) endangered, threatened or vulnerable. Fortunately, no Canadian Orchids are considered extinct or extirpated, so of these five status categories, Canadian orchids currency fall into three:

Endangered - any indigenous species that is threatened with imminent danger of extinction or extirpation throughout all or a significant part of its range in Canada.

Threatened- any indigenous species that is likely to become endangered in Canada if the factors affecting their vulnerability do not become reversed.

Vulnerable - any indigenous species that is particularly at risk because of low or declining numbers, occurrence at the fringe of their range or for some other reason, but is not a threatened species.

Canada overlaps the northern limit of the ranges of all of the COSEWIC listed orchid species. Thus these listed orchids are threatened widh extirpation; they are populations that may cease to exist in Canada while populations survive south of our border. In each case, human civilization has jeopardized these species - farming of prairies, flooding by hydro-electic dams or land development. The orchids listed by COSEWIC are:

Each of these orchid species have their own charm. Member societies of the Canadian Orchid Congress might consider adopting the cause of preserving a population of an endangered, threatened or vulnerable species in their province or area in an effort to co-ordinate or support its protection. The Purdon Conservation Area, featured in the newest Canadian Orchid Congress Videotape, might serve as a model on how a variety of interest groups might band together to save native orchids in their natural habitat

Steve Saunders, Chairperson, COC Consenation Committee


For the Love of Orchids - in living memory

Orchids have such beautiful flowers. Some of the most attractive Canadian Orchids can be found growing in forests, fields, dunes and wetlands. The wetland habitats are threatened and need to be preserved.

This video is a story about orchids and about one man's love of nature. Joe Purdon understood the value of a wetand on his property in eastern Canada and its need to be conserved. Today, at the Purdon Conservation Area, a large population of the Showy Lady's Slipper exists and can be appreciated by visitors. A management plan ensures that the area will be conserved for future generations.

Running time: 26 minutes 40 seconds
Copyright: © Canadian Orchid Congress 1993, All rights reserved

For information on obtaining a copy of the video "For the Love of Orchids" write to:
Marilyn Light, Chairperson COC Education Committee
174 Jolicoeur, Hull, Quebec J8Z 1C9


Liquid Pesticides may Damage Orchids

Have you ever wondered why some orchids become disfigured after pesticide treatment? Solvent-based pesticides can severely damage susceptible plants by penetrating the waxy leaf surface causing pitting, discoloration and sometimes complete defoliation. I have learned to my dismay that Oncidium papilio, Encyclia tampense, and Epidendrum pseudepidendrum are very susceptible to damage. I understand that some Dendrobiums are also so. If you have pest problems and wish to apply a pesticide, use a powdered product by preference, diluted according to manufacturer's instructions. To avoid additional plant stress, apply pesticides only when the weather is cool (20°C) and overcast.

Some Orchids are Resistant to Pests

Why is it that Sobralia xantholeuca never hosts a scale insect while beside it, Encyclia keinastii never passes up a single guest "crawler"? I wonder if the very rarity of the Encyclia is somehow related to its susceptibity. Once I have recognized a particularly susceptible plant I always check it first for signs of a new pest invasion. These I gently remove by hand with a toothpick.

Marilyn Light, Ottawa Orchid 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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