FEBRUARY 4-5, 2017 — Venice. FL

The Venice Area Orchid Society will present their 51th annual show and sale at the Venice Community Center in Venice, FL on February 4-5, 2017.  Sixteen vendors will exhibit and sell 1000’s of blooming orchid plants as well as orchid floral arrangements, artwork, jewelry, accessories and supplies.  The show is widely regarded as the most popular orchid show on Florida’s west coast and comes just before Valentine’s Day.

This major community event is expected to draw over 4000 attendees.  Nationally recognized growers from as far away as Hawaii will exhibit and sell orchids. They include: Art Stone Orchids, Carmela Orchids, Florida SunCoast Orchids, Krull-Smith, Odom’s Orchids, Palmer Orchids, Phelps Farm, EFG Orchids, Mac’s Orchids and Plantio La Orquidea. More than 20 American Orchid Society (AOS) accredited judges travel from around the country to judge this event. Cash awards and trophies are awarded to the best exhibits and plants in each class.

The Venice Area Orchid Society is one of the largest and most active orchid societies in the U.S. with more than 300 members. Our annual show is our major fund raising event and is always held the first full weekend in February at the Venice Community Center in downtown Venice. The Community Center provides the perfect venue for displaying the orchid exhibits and sales areas. Please plan to join us!

Venice Community Center, 326 So. Nokomis Ave., Venice

Show Hours:  Saturday 10am – 5pm.   Sunday 10am – 4pm

Contact Carol Wood at ShowChair@VAOS.org for more information


Meeting Thursday, Feb 2, 2017 -7:00pm

Speaker: John Salventi

Topic: “Roots – Why and How”

Prior to his involvement in the orchid industry, John Salventi was a health-care professional with more than 20 years of hospital management experience, including 17 years at the Lehigh Valley Hospital. John and Tom Purviance opened Parkside Orchid Nursery in 1992. Parkside grew to be one of the largest multi-genera orchid nurseries in the northeastern United States with five greenhouses, spanning over 14,000 square feet of growing space. Parkside was sold after 20 years in operation.

During the 20 years that they operated Parkside, both John and Tom traveled extensively to maintain an interesting inventory for the serious hobbyist and secured plants directly from the growers. These include frequent trips to South America, Central America, Hawaii and Asia. John continues to travel to South America leading Eco-Tours in Peru and Ecuador. In Peru, these trips have included The Manu Cloud Forest, the Wayqechas Biological Research Center, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. He has traveled extensively in Ecuador on several occasions and to Costa Rica twice, once traveling to the rain and cloud forests.

John served on the conservation committee of the American Orchid Society and the president’s advisory council for the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research. He has spoken both nationally and internationally at Orchid Societies and Symposia on orchid and conservation topics.  See www.everythingaboutorchids.com  for additional information.

Rafael Romero, Plantio La Orquidea, one of our fine local vendors, will be offering a great selection of orchids for sale.

Venice Community Center – door open at 6:30

Meeting Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 – 7:00 pm

Ted Kellogg:  Ribbon Judging – Putting Your Best Plant Forward

I’ve enclosed a picture of a ‘blue ribbon’ Cypripedium acule growing in Rhode Island.  Of cypacule1course, any orchid plant surviving in the wild and reproducing is a winner in Nature’s Show.  This plant, blooming in 2011, in a forest cemetery was among many others of the same genus.  No other species of orchid was in bloom at that time. It was the only one with the very dark colored pouch.  If a team of orchid judges had been asked to place blue, red and yellow ribbons on the best Cypripedium acule growing in this natural setting, the plant pictured would have received the blue ribbon.

But what if those judges were looking at an orchid show with many exhibits.  If they had been at the Venice 2016 show, they would have seen 214 plants entered for ribbon judging.  The registration committee had placed each of these plants into one of 90 groups (classes).  The classes held from 1 to 13 plants each.  A team of orchid judges looked at each class and awarded blue-1st, red-2nd, or yellow-3rd ribbons as they wished.  What criteria did they use?  Sometimes a class with 1 entry got a red or yellow ribbon, or maybe didn’t get a ribbon.  Why?  Sometimes the judges decided two plants in a class each deserved a blue ribbon.

What did the judges look at?  Why was one plant awarded higher than another?  I’ll try to explain what the judges consider in ribbon judging.  I’ll give suggestions for you to impress the judges that you have put your best plants forward.

Orchid Envy, one of our own local growers here in Venice, will have a great selection of quality plants for sale.

Venice Community Center.  Doors open at 6:30.

Meeting Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 — 7:00 pm

Fred Clarke – Sunset Valley Orchids

“Today’s Mini and Compact Cattleyas”

Fred Clarke has been growing orchids for 33 years and has been hybridizing for 25 of those years. With over 25 years as a professional grower and manager in the horticultural industry, Fred applies these skills at his orchid nursery: Sunset Valley Orchids, located in San Diego, California.


Cattleyas come in many colors and shapes and the mini and compact cattleyas dazzle and sparkle with their diminutive size, robust growth and presentation. Fred will discuss the most important breeding plants and their influence on the present day hybrids available to the orchid enthusiast.  He’ll identify those most suited for our growing conditions and cover the ‘best growing practices’ for growing these little gems.

He is a passionate orchid grower whose curiosity in orchids is broad and varied.  Although developing Cattleya hybrids has been his sustaining interest, he is also actively creating new Bulbophyllum and Paphiopedilum hybrids. His pioneering work in Catasetum intergeneric hybrids led to the development of several notable hybrids, most recently the grex, Fredclarkeara After Dark, which produced “the blackest flower ever witnessed”. This grex has received eight FCC’s, four AM’s and the coveted ‘Award of Distinction’ on the first flowers shown for judging!

Fred is an Accredited Judge in the Pacific South Judging Region. His plants have received hundreds of quality awards from the American Orchid Society. He’s a renowned international speaker and always has great tips for novices and experienced growers alike. He’ll be happy to answer your questions and will have a fine selection of his quality orchids for sale.

Venice Community Center.  Doors open at 6:30.