Meeting Thursday, June 3, 2015

Speaker: Vern Bloch

Vern picTopic: Encyclias and Epidendrums

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 Epidendrum, Encyclia and Prothechea genera. Many orchids were originally classified as Epidendrums and Vern will show you how to differentiate between them and provide culture tips on how to grow them here in Florida. All are members of the cattleya family and their hybrids, Epicats, have become very popular in recent years. They are easy to grow in Florida, providing us with a wide range of colors and shapes.

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

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

Venice Community Center.

2016 VAOS Orchid Show – Feb. 6 – 7, 2016

Please join us the first weekend in February 2016 for our 50th Orchid Show.  Details to  follow.

Meeting Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – 7:00 pm

New Discoveries in the Highlands of BrazilToscano Field Photo may 2014 med

Dr. Antonio Toscano de Brito

     We’re fortunate to have Dr. Toscano de Brito return and share the latest in his world travels searching for new orchids and studying how they create new species in response to diverse environments. For our newer members, Dr. Toscano received his PhD. from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, lectured at Harvard University, and participated in the Global Plants Initiative. He continues to be active at the Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota where he heads the Selby DNA Monitoring Unit and frequently travels to Brazil where he is now a “Special Visiting Researcher” at Parana University.

He is the world’s leading expert on the more than 4,000 species of Pleurothallids, mainly found in South and Central America. His lively presentation will be illustrated with many photographs from his friend and co-worker, Dr. Wade Collier, who accompanied him on his most recent trip and who also volunteers at Selby. Dr. Collier will provide tips on orchid photography in challenging environments. Following the presentation, Dr. Toscano will entertain questions from the audience and perhaps share a favorite recipe or two from his time in Brazil as owner/chef of the “Orchidarium”, a Brazilian/Portuguese restaurant.

Orchid Envy, one of our local supporters and vendors, located on Venice Avenue in downtown Venice, will have an assortment of quality orchids for sale.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Meeting Wednesday, April 1, 2015 – 7:00 pm

Guillermo Salazar

Guillermo Salazar
Topic: “Best Stanhopeas and related species for Florida””

Guillermo Salazar was born in Miami and grew up in El Salvador in Central America, where he found that orchids were the most attractive plants in this environment. He began collecting orchids at the age of nine and became the youngest member of the San Salvador Orchid Society, the largest in the country’s capital. Returning to the U.S., he received his degree in Landscape Design and Management and a Master’s degree in Science in Environmental Horticulture from the University of Florida, where he learned the importance of protecting natural resources, particularly orchids, in Florida. Guillermo has worked as a professional Landscape Designer in private and governmental areas and is presently the Landscape Superintendent for the city of Miami Lakes.

Guillermo is an AOS student judge, board member of several orchid societies and a Florida Master Gardener and has spoken at several local and regional orchid societies. He has published several orchid articles for S. Florida and international magazines and his specialties in orchids are Angraecoids, Bulbophyllum, and rare and miniature tropical species. Guillermo will be discussing Stanhopeas and related species, with special emphasis on those suited for Florida growers.This genus is found in Central and South America and is known for the intricate flowers and especially complex structures for pollination. Following his presentation, he will be glad to answer questions and will have a selection of his best orchids for sale.

In his spare time, Guillermo is a breeder of pedigree Persian and Himalayan cats (felines, not catts), enjoys gardening and exploring the world’s tropical regions.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.