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!
Welcome to the San Francisco Orchid Society
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Meeting: November 1, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.
November Speaker: Gary Meyer, Ph.D. - Gods and Monsters: Dracula orchids and their names.
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, and within 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. Eight years later, Gary now has two overcrowded greenhouses in his backyard in San Francisco and several hundred Dracula plants (along with a reasonable dose 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 Research Manager at IntrinsiQ, LLC, where he tracks the oncology pharmaceutical industry. He is currently President of the Pleurothallid Alliance, owner of Colombian Orchid Imports, which imports orchid species from Colombia for sale in the United States, and runs the marketing and sales for Hawk Hill Orchids of Pacifica, California.
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.
Opportunity table: Prize cymbidium seedlings from Pierre Pujol
November Skill Session: Tom Perlite - What's new with the Pacific Orchid Exposition
- 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)
$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:
P.O. Box 27145
San Francisco, CA 94127
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
Gary Turner, President
Mary Gerritsen, Vice President
Valerie Mountain, Secretary
Jack Ryder, Treasurer
For any SFOS related questions, contact email@example.com.
That Support the SFOS
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.