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: September 6, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.

September Speaker: Ron Parsons - Stanhopea and Their Relatives

Ron Parsons has been growing orchids for more than 40 years, and has been interested in species orchids for most of that time. Ron loves to photograph orchids and most other flowers whenever he can, whether it be on trips to see them in nature  or in collections. He loves to travel to see orchids in the wild, and does so as often as possible. Ron has close to 60,000 digital images, most of which are of orchids, and still retains a slide library that exceeds 100,000 botanical images. He has at least 3000 published photos that have appeared in magazines, periodicals, journals and books. Ron has co-authored three botanical books, all with Mary E. Gerritsen. The first two, published by Timber Press, are Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World and Calochortus, Mariposa Lilies and their Relatives. Most recently, the third book, a large, luxurious, two-volume set, A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species was published by Redfern Natural History Productions in January of 2014. The latter has nearly 1200 pages, 1800 photographs, and features more than 500 species.

In place of the skill session at the September meeting, the San Francisco Orchid Society would like to introduce Matthew Stephens, the new director of both the Conservatory of Flowers and the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Matthew StephensMatt has exciting plans for the orchid collection at the conservatory, and he will be at our meeting to share them.

The Conservatory of Flowers is a cherished National, State and Local landmark within the City of San Francisco. It is also the oldest wooden greenhouse in North America, at 137 years old. The core mission of the Conservatory of Flowers is to connect people and plants in a place of exceptional beauty. It’s massive redwood support beams support thousands of glass panes that allow plants from all over the world to grow, and thrive under the care of a world class team of horticulturists. Currently the Conservatory of Flowers is undergoing an exciting transformation. Over the next three to five years the organization is aligning a new organizational direction, cultivating strategic partnerships, and redefining a new level of organizational excellence. One of the items within this new direction will be to undergo a permanent gallery renovation with the Highland Orchid collection the Conservatory maintains. Specifically the Conservatory of Flowers will be focusing on cultivating one of the most comprehensive cloud forest orchid collections from North and South America that exists in cultivation. The creation of this collection will allow the Conservatory to focus newly rooted efforts towards conservation, and it is the hopes that we will eventually become a worldwide leader in cloud forest orchid conservation.

Please join us at 7 pm in the main auditorium for the presentation by Matt. There will be some light refreshments provided.

Upcoming Meetings

  • September 2016: Ron Parsons Topic: Stanhopea and Their Relatives
  • October 2016: Cindy Hill Topic: Cindy’s Favorites and How to Grow Them
  • November 2016: Round Table Discussions
  • 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

The Story of Orchids - Flowers that defy all expectations

SFOS Officers

Dave Hermeyer, 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 post. ...

The lineup of Orchids in the Wild Tours is here! April: Crete and Greece (April 10-24) June: Two Rio Negro trips in the Brazilian amazon November: Ecuador after the World Orchid Conference. More information on the website: orchidconservationalliance.com/guided-trips If you are interested, places fill up quickly. Get your deposits in soon!

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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.