LOCATION: Christ Lutheran Church, Englewood
Speaker: Rafael Romero
Rafael RomeroRafael Romero, Plantio 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 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 fine 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.
Speaker: Vern Bloch
Topic: 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.
New Discoveries in the Highlands of Brazil
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.