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.

Next Meeting: June 7, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.

June Speaker: Marni Turkel – Show Me the Plant



How many of us have been disappointed when we finally bloom that plant we bought because the picture of the flower was so beautiful? Then it turned out to be a very small flower on a very long spike on an ungainly plant.

“Show Me the Plant” is a presentation that uses photographs of blooming specimen plants as well as close-ups to consider the whole plant for a sense of proportion and relationship and not just the flower in isolation. Marni will be talking about many of her favorite plants and will cover some basic information as well as specific needs for individual plants and strategies for growing specimen plants. This is a chance to see the best of her collection and learn how she grows it.

phal-lobbii-3068-specimenMarni Turkel (pronounced tur KELL) is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and has been growing orchids since 1980. She grows in four enclosed greenhouses in Santa Rosa with approximately 1250 sq ft of growing space. Originally, her main interest was in cool-growing miniature species but plenty of larger plants have crept into the collection as well. With the addition of a warm greenhouse in 2015, she grows a wide range of species from warm to cold growers. Marni has been a contributor to Orchids magazine with her series called ‘Well Worth the Space’ and ‘Give It a Rest’. tricho-longi-1-plantHer articles have been translated into Dutch, German, Portuguese and Swedish for international publication. Photographs of her plants have been feature in articles in noted orchid publications including Orchids Magazine, Orchid Digest, Richardiana, The Orchid Review, and The Australian Orchid Review. For the last few years she has been sharing her photographs and knowledge on

Starting in 2009, Marni expanded her work with orchids to include propagation of orchids from seed and set up a flasking lab of her own to take the process from start to finish. It has grown rather fast and now has around 5000 flasks on her shelves at any given time. While she does some work for other clients, the business primarily produces and sell flasks of many of the orchids species in her collection. After working for over 43 years as a potter, she has retired from ceramics to pursue orchids full-time.

l-telipogon-3325-specimenOpportunity table is provided by Marni Turkel. Marni will also be bringing plants to sell.

June Skill Session: Mary Gerritsen - “Hang it up” - A hands on demonstration and audience participation event. Mary Gerritsen will be demonstrating how to mount orchids, and there will be a Q&A about the culture of mounted orchids. She will provide some mounting material and plants for people to practice the technique. Members are also welcome to bring a plant they wish to mount along with a suitable mount.

Upcoming SFOS Meetings

  • June 2016: Marni Turkel – Show Me the Plant (a discussion of 10 of her favorite orchids)
  • July 2016: Phyllis Prestia – OCA Tour of Madagascar
  • August 2016: Ron Kaufman (Founding Director of the Orchid Conservation Alliance) Topic: TBD

Current Newsletter

June 2016 SFOS Newsletter (PDF)