Welcome to the San Francisco Orchid Society

Welcome to the San Francisco Orchid Society web site. We are lucky to reside in one of the best parts of the country for the cultivation of orchids in the home, greenhouse, and garden. It is our hope that our site, our meetings, and our members will spark your enthusiasm to give this most satisfying hobby a try!

San Francisco Orchid Society Meetings

The San Francisco Orchid Society meets on the first Tuesday of every month.

Located at San Francisco County Fair Building (Hall of Flowers), adjacent to the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum (at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way, San Francisco).

Plants submitted for American Orchid Society Judging must be entered between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m.

Contact SFOS at info@orchidsanfrancisco.org

Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.

March Meeting: Dr. Santiago Ramirez

Topic: Orchids and Bees; An evolving relationship

Insect pollinators have profoundly influenced the evolution of flowering plants by exerting selective pressures on floral traits. The Orchidaceae provides some of the most fascinating examples of how natural selection imposed by pollinators shapes the evolution of floral traits. The males of orchid bees (or euglossine bees) collect volatile compounds from both floral and non-floral sources, which they subsequently expose as pheromone analogues (perfumes) during courtship display. Approximately ~700 orchid species from the neotropics have evolved adaptations for pollination by male orchid bees.

March’s featured speaker is Dr. Santiago Ramirez, an Associate Professor at the University of California Davis. He will present his most recent research that takes advantage of this powerful chemical signaling system to determine the mechanisms of pollinator attraction and reproductive isolation among orchids. Most of Dr. Ramirez’s work has focused on Gongora orchids, which emit powerful floral scents that attract and reward male euglossine bees in exchange for pollination services. Male euglossine bees collect and store these scents in hind-leg pockets to concoct perfumes used subsequently during elaborate courtship display. Current research at UC Davis, has identified several cryptic scent chemotypes of Gongora that are tightly associated with non-overlapping assemblages of bee pollinators.

About Dr. Santiago Ramirez

Dr. Ramírez received his B.Sc. in Biology at the Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). He pursued his Ph.D. at Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley. Dr. Ramírez is broadly interested in studying the adaptations, speciation processes, and ecological determinants that influence insect-plant associations. His work combines multiple approaches including ecological genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics, chemical ecology, and natural history.

SFOS President Jeff Harris

Message from the President – by Jeff Harris

Our 67th annual Pacific Orchid Exposition (POE) is right around the corner and is still in need of volunteers. Every SFOS member needs to chip in – however you can. Ask a friend to join you.

Do you ever bring your plants/flowers for show and tell at meetings? If so, please consider bringing in some of your plants for our POE display.We will do ribbon judging with cash prizes – you could win some money too. We have some excellent speakers and plant tables set up for you – so do not miss the February meeting, it should be a special one to remember.

And we also have lots of activities outside the meetings and shows –

thank you all for your help with the Filoli Gardens display in January and the upcoming SF Flower and Garden Show – which also still needs volunteers to staff our booth March 19-24.

As always, please come up and say hello in person – and send me an email or give me a call if you want to discuss something in more depth. We still have lots of projects in need of improvement.

We need your input to make SFOS the best it can be.


Upcoming Meetings

  • Mar 2019: Santiago Ramirez – Orchids and Bees
  • Apr 2019: Harold Koopowitz

San Francisco Orchid Society Membership (New Members and Renewals)

Membership Cost

(tax deductible)

  • $25/year (Standard Individual Membership)
  • $40/year (Household Membership)

How to Apply and Pay

For both new members and renewals, please complete our online member application through Member Planet.

You will need to create a basic account with Member Planet to apply to the SFOS. This is a new process to simplify tracking of our membership dues payments and roster information.

If you want help with this new process, we can assist you at the membership table at the monthly SFOS meetings.

If you cannot use the online process, then please go ahead and mail a check with your contact information to:

SFOS Membership
P.O. Box 27145
San Francisco, CA 94127-0145

SFOS Member Handbook

SFOS By-Laws

Members can volunteer to help the society prepare for the Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition (POE), held at the Hall of Flowers (County Fair Building) in Golden Gate Park. The creativity and enthusiasm of our members help make the show a success. Join now and see how you can get started.

San Francisco Orchid Society Newsletters

San Francisco Orchid Society Library

Literature is available for SFOS members on orchid-related topics at each month’s meetings. For a list of what’s available, please download a copy of our book list below.

—SFOS Librarian Chuck Chan

SFOS Officers

Jeff Harris, President
Erik Sayle, Vice President
Jeremiah Chua, Secretary
Faye Rabino, Treasurer (CFO)

For any SFOS related questions, contact info@orchidsanfrancisco.org.

Support Businesses
That Support the SFOS

Check out our new POE sponsors!

The San Francisco Orchid Society wishes to thank the following sponsors for their major, ongoing support. Their participation has helped make our show an international event. We encourage you to visit their site.

International Orchid Tours Available

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: (#4) Application request limit reached
Type: OAuthException
Code: 4
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Since the turn of the millennium, the SFOS has donated over $50,000 in support of local horticultural education and botanical gardens, botanical research, and international conservation efforts.  Many of the organizations the SFOS support include Orchid Conservation Alliance, the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, SF Botanical Garden, UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Horticulture Department, the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park and many more.