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: November 8, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.

November Speaker: Gary Meyer, Ph.D. - Gods and Monsters

Gary Meyer’s interest in orchids began when he was a freshman in high school in Michigan. He had already replaced much of his dad’s beloved lawn with hundreds of perennials and North American native plants, partly in an attempt (futile, unfortunately) to attract hummingbirds. Among this plant collection were several cypripedium species, which ignited his curiosity about orchids from other parts of the globe. He found a photograph of Masdevallia vietchiana in a library book that rendered him helpless to resist the pull to Pleurothallids. Shortly thereafter, he laid eyes on a line drawing of Dracula chimaera in a J & L Orchids catalog, and has been enslaved by draculas ever since. Gary started growing draculas in his parents’ basement in 1990, with some degree of success.

However, college, then medical school, and finally graduate school became unavoidable distractions for him. By the time he finished his Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2003, he thought he had managed to completely kick the orchid addiction. In February 2003, Gary moved from Ann Arbor, MI to San Francisco, CA, andwithin two weeks of his arrival, found himself face to face with a pure yellow Dracula gorgona xanthina (owned by John Leathers) at the Pacific Orchid Exposition. The addiction was immediately revived, stronger than ever. Thirteen years later, Gary now has several hundred dracula plants in Pacifica, CA (along with a reasonable dose of masdevallias, lepanthes, cyrtochilums, and anguloas).

Gary has been travelling to Colombia and Ecuador once or twice a year since 2005 to observe draculas in the wild and visit collections of South American dracula growers. He has also been putting his science background to work, studying the molecular taxonomy of the genus with Ken Cameron, Ph.D., director of the herbarium at the University of Wisconsin, and describing new species in conjunction with his South American colleagues.

By day, Gary is a Director of Clinical Analytics at IntrinsiQ, LLC, where he tracks the oncology pharmaceutical industry. He is currently President of the Pleurothallid Alliance, and owner of Colombian Orchid Imports, which imports orchid species from Colombia for sale in the United States.

Gary’s talk, Gods and Monsters, will be something of a deviation from the typical orchid talk. Since Halloween is right around the corner, this talk will delve into the mythology behind the monstrous and spooky names used for dracula species.

November Skill Session: Big Changes in POE - Discussion led by Tom Perlite

Upcoming Meetings

  • November 2016: Gary Meyer – Gods and Monsters – Dracula species and names
  • December 2016: Holiday Party

San Francisco Orchid Society Newsletters

San Francisco Orchid Society Membership (New Members and Renewals)

Membership Cost

(tax deductible)
$25/year (with Email Newsletter Option)
$45/year (with USPS Mail Newsletter Option)

How to Apply and Pay

You can apply and pay two ways:

Electronically via PayPal (PayPal account is not required)

For both new members and renewals, please complete our online member application, and then submit your payment with a debit or credit card via PayPal.

With a Check and Printed Application

Please print & complete our membership application and send it with a check (made payable to: SFOS) and for the appropriate amount to:

SFOS Memberships
P.O. Box 27145
San Francisco, CA 94127

SFOS Member Handbook

SFOS By-Laws

Members can volunteer to help the society prepare for the Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition, held at Lower Fort Mason. 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 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 Members!

Are you attending the SFOS 2016 Holiday Party and Potluck? We need to know!

The Story of Orchids - Flowers that defy all expectations

SFOS Officers

Gary Turner, President
Mary Gerritsen, Vice President
Valerie Mountain, Secretary
Jack Ryder, Treasurer

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

Support Businesses
That Support the SFOS


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

San Francisco Orchid Society shared Orchid Conservation Alliance's photo. ...

Imagine a forest where Dendrobium unicum grows everywhere! Orchids in the Wild trip to Thailand, 2015 Join us for a trip this year! orchidconservationalliance.com/guided-trips

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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.