Meeting May 7, 2014: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Antonio Toscano —- Topic: “Sex, Lies and Orchids”

Dr. Antonio Toscano is the director of the Orchid Division, Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota. Born in Brazil, he received his PhD from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, through the University of Reading and has completed several expeditions to the Amazon in search of Pleurothallids.  The Pleurothallid alliance of New World orchids includes popular genera such as Masdevallia and Dracula and Dr. Toscano is the world’s leading expert on the more than 4000 species of these amazing orchids.

 He recently completed a Global Plants Initiative project on the orchid diversity of the rapidly disappearing Atlantic rainforests of S.E. Brazil. VAOS continues to support conservation efforts in this area through our annual contribution to the Orchid Conservation Alliance.

He will discuss the unique form and structure of these orchids as well as their complicated and sometimes “erotic” pollination methods. He’ll dazzle us with breathtaking  photos from around the world, especially from Brazil.

Toscano Field Photo may 2014 med

Orchid Envy, one of our newer local growers, will have a selection of their beautiful plants and arrangements for sale.


Event Calendar


March 22- Saturday.  VAOS Picnic 12-4PM, Caspersen Beach

April 2, 2014. Monthly Meeting. 7:00 at the Venice Community Center.  Rafael Romero, “Orchid Tales.”

April 10, 2014.  Hands-on Potting Clinic. 7:00 Community Center.  Bring 1 plant you wish to repot, a suitable pot and we will supply material and expertise to help you.

April 26, 2014 Greenhouse Tour, 9 to 2 pm.  details in the April newsletter.

May 7, 2014. Monthly Meeting.

May 17, 2014.  Redlands International Orchid Festival – Bus Trip.  Details  in the April Newsletter.


Mentor Program: help for beginning growers, contact Peg Fahrenback,

AOS Orchid Judging takes place at Christ the King Catholic Church, McLoughlin Center – Room C, 821 S. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, FL 33609 at 6:30pm on the fourth Wednesday of every month (in April 2014 Judging is on the  29 at ). Info:



Meeting April 2, 2014

Next Meeting: Wednesday

April 2nd at 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Rafael Romero

Topic: “Orchid Tales”

Rafael Romero, Plantion La Orquidea, was born in Caracas, Venezuela and graduated as a biologist from the Universidad Simon Bolivar. He began working with orchids in 1986 with his father in law, Henrique Graf, owner of Plantio La Orquidea, the largest orchid nursery in Venezuela.

Together with his wife, Rafael started the laboratory at Plantio La Orquidea in 1986 where they produce the species and hybrids for which they are known. They moved to Sarasota in 2003 and started their small nursery, approximately 10000 sq. ft., where they established a good sample of the species and hybrids produced in Venezuela as well as adding interesting species and hybrids from around the world.

Rafael will be sharing his knowledge and experiences as well as answering questions and will have a great selection of his orchids available for sale. Plantio La Orquidea is one of our fine local growers and is located at 3480 Tallevast Road in Sarasota.

Rafael Romero photo

Growers Clinic Feb. 13, 2014

Thurs, Feb, 13,  7PM Growers Clinic: Topic “Dendrobiums 101”.  Richard Amos and Renee Brynum, expert dendrobium growers will present.  Also bring in any problem orchid plant for advice from Dr. Jimmy! Location: Here – VCC, back room.