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, May 7, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.

May Meeting: Mary Gerritsen

Topic: Growing Orchids Outdoors in the San Francisco Bay Area

Mary Gerritsen

It is often said that we are blessed to live in the Bay Area. Our mild weather conditions throughout the year make it possible to grow an amazing variety of cool to intermediate temperature loving orchids. However, for successful outdoor growing it is essential to understand certain key elements. Join us for Mary’s informative talk that will cover what you need to know about growing orchids outside, including microclimates, selecting or creating suitable growing area, cultural tips, how to cope with heat and cold, and a survey of popular orchids that are grown outside year round in different parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mary fell in love with orchids during her post-doctoral days in the late 70’s in San Diego, and has grown them off and on ever since. She worked in the biotechnology industry for many years, developing drugs for autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Now semi-retired, she works as an independent biotechnology consultant, and in her spare time, travels as much as she can to see orchids in habitat. In the past twelve years she has gone on orchid trips/treks to various parts of the US and Canada, as well as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Borneo, Western Australia, Thailand, Sulawesi, New Guinea, South Africa, Madagascar and southern and western China. She has also traveled to Germany, Crete, Rhodes, Mallorca, Sicily and Cyprus to photograph the terrestrial orchids. 

Mary enjoys writing about orchids, and is an author/co-author (with friend and well-known photographer Ron Parsons) of four orchid books (Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World, A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species, A Bay Area Guide to Orchids and their Culture and the newly published American Orchid Society Guide to Orchids and their Culture). She has also written articles for orchid magazines including Orchids, Orchid Digest and The Orchid Review. She has a collection of mostly miniature, cool growing species. Orchid Review.

Mary is a past-president of the San Francisco Orchid Society and Peninsula Orchid Society and currently serves on the board of directors of The Orchid Digest and The Orchid Conservation Alliance. 

Upcoming Meetings

• June 2019: TBD

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

International Orchid Tours Available

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.