Meeting Wednesday, April 5, 2017 – 7:00 PM


Speaker: Vern Bloch

Vern picTopic: Brassavolas and Related Species

Vern Bloch is a retired Navy pilot who first became interested in orchids after leaving the service in 1987. Two years later, Vern, and his wife, Helen, became owners of the Palm Bay Orchid Range and participated in many orchid shows around the state. They sold the nursery in 2004 but continue to do business on a small scale. For the past twenty years, Vern has conducted programs for numerous orchid societies ranging from the Florida Keys to North Carolina.

Vern’s main interest has always been in the Cattleya alliance and his presentation will focus on the Brassavola genus  and Vern will show you how to differentiate between them and provide culture tips on how to grow them here in Florida.

Vern will be happy to answer questions and will have an assortment of fine orchids for sale.

Meeting starts 7:00 – Doors open at 6:30.

Venice Community Center.

Meeting Thursday, March 2, 2017 – 7:00 PM

Orchids of the Himalayas

Speaker: Stig Dalström.  Born and raised in Sweden, Stig became a US citizen in 2007 after having been considered “an alien with extraordinary ability” by the US Immigration Office in 1997.  He has degrees in civil engineering and horticulture, is a self-taught watercolor arti


st, botanical illustrator and experienced orchid taxonomist. He now resides in Sarasota, Florida and is the former Curator of the Orchid Identification Center of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, specializing in the identification and classification of certain Andean orchid genera.

Although officially retired, he also focuses on studying the orchid flora of the Himalayas in general and of Bhutan in particular, where he assists the government in developing orchid research and conservation programs. A number of expeditions into isolated areas of the Kingdom of Bhutan have been organized in collaboration with staff from the National Biodiversity Centre (an independent branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests) in Serbithang, Thimpu.

These efforts have added more than 100 new orchid records for the country since 2002, and several species new to science. The Royal Botanic Garden has received a partial face-lift, an orchid display house has been created and a micro-propagation laboratory has been established.

A number of his much-appreciated orchid articles have been published and read by hundreds of scientists and orchid lovers. His latest work is “A Century of New Orchid Records in Bhutan”, dedicated to the new Crown Prince of Bhutan, and published on his 1st birthday this month.

Stig is a highly regarded speaker and will instruct and entertain you with tales of his latest travels, augmented by his great digital presentation. He will have a selection of his books, prints, and other related items for sale.

Jeff Higel, a longtime society member and one of our local orchid vendors, will have a great selection of orchids and media/supplies from Honey Bee Nursery for sale. With two hands-on Growers Clinics upcoming in the next two months, this will be the ideal time to stock up and get great advice.

Venice Community Center (doors open at 6:30 pm)


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  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