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, July 3, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

July Speaker: Carol Zoltowski, Pacific Central Judging Chair

Topic: You be the Judge, AOS outreach judging workshop

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the judging room during our general meetings? Have you ever been brave enough to walk through those doors with your orchids? Many of us have not yet mustered up the courage to do so. That is why this meeting may be critically important to you and your future growing success. 

Join us for an informative evening designed to demystify and enlighten led by Pacific Central Judging Center Chair, Carol Zoltowski. Carol and her team of judges will guide us through the process. Knowing how that process works, how plants are chosen, evaluated and scored will sharpen your eyes, making you a more informed consumer, better grower and hopefully an exhibitor or even a judge someday.

This will be a real AOS sanctioned event so please plan to bring your plants and enter them into judging. Do be advised, that if your plant(s) are awarded there will be a fee. If you decide to decline the award all fees will be waived. You do not have to be an AOS or SFOS member to have your plants judged. Everyone is welcome to participate.

The Official Score Card

About American Society Judging

The American Orchid Society was founded in 1921. Early awards were trophies given to plants and exhibits only at AOS meetings. There were no formal rules or regulations. Plants were judged on a basis of consensus by the judging team. All judges were appointed by the AOS president at quarterly meetings and judging was limited to the Northeasterly part of the country. 

It was not until after 1945 that the modern AOS judging system we have today started to take shape. Under the direction of Robert H. Gore, the method of scoring plants was developed and eventually adopted in 1949 with the first publication of the Handbook on Judging and Exhibition. 

It should be noted that as early as 1938 the Orchid Society of California had already developed a point based judging system that eventually evolved into the Orchid Digest judging system. In 1968, the Orchid Digest judging system merged with the American Orchid Society. There were also other independent regional orchid judging systems such as Hawaii’s that were also incorporated into the AOS system. 

Over the years there have been several significant revisions to the handbook. These changes have improved the quality and broadened the AOS’s reach to create a unified American standard judging system that is now recognized internationally.

Today there are 26 AOS judging centers comprising 34 sites within the US and Canada. Judging also takes place at sanctioned shows nationwide as well as abroad.

Skills Session at 6:30 pm: Orchids in the Park Show strategy meeting. All are welcome to particpate!

Upcoming Meetings

  • July 2018: You be the judge – AOS judging workshop
  • Aug 2018: Sharman O’Neill – Vanilla!
  • Sept 2018: Norman Fang – Development of the Harlequin Phalaneopsis
  • Oct 2018: Kay Klausing – Orchid viruses
  • Nov 2018: Harold Koopowitz – Breeding The New Miniature Slipper Orchids
  • Dec 2018: Holiday Party
  • Jan 2019: TBA
  • Feb 2019: Stig Dalstrom – Paphiopedilums of Bhutan
  • Mar 2019: Santiago Ramirez – Orchids and Bees

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
Linda Tripp, Secretary
Faye Rabino, Treasurer (CFO)

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

Support Businesses
That Support the SFOS

New Partnership with Garden Design Magazine

Get the first issue FREE with your new Subscription PLUS $12 is Donated to the San Francisco Orchid Society, when you subscribe through this link.

There are no ads, just 148 pages of beautiful gardens and plants. Each magazine is coffee table-worthy. Filled with large, bold photography and great stories. There is also a free weekly newsletter that goes out each Thursday.

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.