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, February 5, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.

February Meeting: Stig Dalström

Topic: Orchids of Bhutan

February’s featured speaker is internationaly renowned taxonomist Stig Dalström. Stig’s presentation will focus on how he ended up in Bhutan and his work as a research associate of the National Biodiversity Centre in Thimphu (the capitol) focusing on orchid research and conservation. 

Bhutan, officially know as The Kingdom of Bhutan, is home to one of the richest and most diverse orchid flora in the world. Over 369 species have been recorded and described, 82 being unique to Bhutan. During Stig’s tenure there, among other things he was searching for, and had success finding, were new locations for Paphiopedilum fairrieanum and venustum. He was successful despite that venustum is still super rare to find in situ due to over-collecting some 40-50 years ago by Indian collectors in combination with local villagers. 

In case you are curious, Bhutan is slightly larger than Maryland, with a population of under 1 million. Situated on the ancient Silk Road of the Himalayas’ eastern edge, bordered by Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and the states of Assam and West Bengal in the south. 

Despite the colonization of her neighbors, Bhutan miraculously has managed to maintained its independence throughout the centuries. The Bhutanese state has developed a distinct national identity that is based on Buddhism.  Often referred to as the last great Himalayan Kingdom this small paradise is known for its rich culture, monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and unspoiled dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. 

Since the mid 1970’s tourism has been tightly controlled. All visitors (with the exception of Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders) are required to use state sanctioned tour agencies and guides. Independent travel is not permitted. The only other options for visiting the country are to receive an invitation by “a citizen of some standing” or a volunteer organization.

About Stig

Considered “An alien with extraordinary ability” by the US Immigration Office (1997), and a US citizen as of January 2007, Stig Dalström has degrees in civil engineering and horticulture, is a self-taught watercolor artist, botanical illustrator and experienced orchid taxonomist. 

Born and raised in Sweden, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida, USA. He is the former Curator of the Orchid Identification Center of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, specializing in the identification and classification of certain Andean orchid genera. Today officially retired, he also focuses on studying the orchid flora of the Himalayas in general and of Bhutan in particular, where he assists the Bhutanese government in developing orchid research and conservation programs.

The latest major contribution is a book entitled “A Century of New Orchid Records in Bhutan”, dedicated to the young Crown Prince of Bhutan, and officially published on his first birthday on February 5, 2017.

SFOS President Jeff Harris

Message from the President – by Jeff Harris

I enjoyed seeing so many of you at our annual holiday potluck dinner Dec 4th – we had a good turnout, tasty food and lots of plants on the opportunity table – thank you to all who brought plants for that.  I think everyone left with at least one nice “gift.”

We have a lot happening as the new year begins – so please join in!

And start prepping your spiking plants to bring to the displays at Filoli, POE and SF Flower and Garden show in March – if you do not know what I mean – ask me!

Weds Jan 2nd – the next POE show committee (virtual “Zoom”) meeting is from 7-8:30pm – are you a chair or co-chair a POE activity? You should call in – if you have not already gotten an email invite – let me know and we will get you the info – and if you are curious and considering stepping up to do more – you are welcome to call in and see what sounds like a good fit for you.  Almost every aspect of the show needs more volunteers.

We have a POE 2019 sign up sheet at: http://signup.com/go/nYxkgeo

Tues Jan 8th is our next general member meeting – NOT Jan 1st.

Remember we bumped this meeting out this one time to the second Tuesday to avoid meeting on new year’s day given concerns raised by many who could not attend.

We need more members to contribute display plants, and help setup, staff and take down the Filoli orchid show displays (filoli.org) from Jan 10th through the 21st.

Remember you can get a free pass to tour the rest of Filoli on the days you volunteer to staff our display!

We really need your involvement – if you have some blooming plants you would contribute to the display, but need help getting the plants to Filoli – let Ron Norris or me know – and we will work something out.

We have a Filoli sign up sheet at: http://signup.com/go/imMzcXH

Also you should expect to get an email prompting you to pay your dues from MemberPlanet after New Years – but you can pro-actively check out your profile/status and renew early at: mp.gg/ja905

Happy Holidays.

See you in the New Year!


Upcoming Meetings

  • Feb 2019: Stig Dalstrom – Orchids of Bhutan
  • 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

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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.