Meetings of the Sacramento Orchid Society

Sacramento Orchid Society has FREE monthly meetings open to everyone. Plenty of free parking is available in the Odd Fellows Hall parking lot.  Please DO NOT PARK at Chik-fil-A.   Meetings are held the FIRST WEDNESDAY of each month at 7 pm. 

The next meeting will be
Wednesday,  May 3, 2017
Odd Fellows Hall, 1831 Howe Avenue, Sacramento, 916-921-0569
Doors open at 6 pm and the meeting begins at 7 pm

The "Plant Doctor" will be available in the kitchen from 6:15-7 pm. Our AOS Judges have generously offered to provide this service while they are sequestered prior to the judging session. If you have an ailing plant in need of diagnosis, please bring it enclosed in a plastic zip-top bag to prevent any transmission of pests or diseases.

Our speaker for May is Steve Beckendorf on Why are there so many Orchids? Orchids are the largest family of flowering plants, with about 30,000 species, more than all the species of grasses. How did they become so successful?

Recently, a combination of molecular analyses and orchid fossils has made it possible to estimate the rate of orchid evolution. The results show that orchid evolution has sped up at least three times since the most primitive orchids appeared. These accelerations produced not only the huge increase in the number of orchid species, but also the extravagant diversification of shape, color, and pollination mechanisms that fascinate us. Steve will describe some of the genetic and environmental changes that allowed these accelerations. Steve will also provide the plant table.

Steve started growing orchids in the early 1980s and quickly became fascinated by Odontoglossums and their close relatives because of their beauty and variety. They had a glamorous past as the most sought after plants in the orchid frenzy that gripped Europe in the 19th century. In addition, excellent hybrids were available from growers and hybridizers on the West Coast. He soon realized that few of the species in this group were readily available and began collecting them for propagation and use in hybridizing. His attempt to find unusual or lost species has led to many trips to the cloud forests of Mexico & South America.

As a geneticist and developmental biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, Steve has worked on the mechanisms that define tissues and organs in early animal embryos. Because of this background, he has been interested in the scientific aspects of orchids, including molecular taxonomy and deceptive pollination strategies. Steve is passionately involved in orchid conservation and is a director of the Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA) and a member of the Conservation Committee of the American Orchid Society. He is also an accredited AOS judge.

Email here for details


THE ODD FELLOWS HALL 1831 Howe Ave., Sacramento



The Odd Fellows Hall is near the intersection of Howe and Alta Arden.  It is nestled behind Cost Plus Imports and Chik-fil-A, next to Exotic Plants.


The meeting begins at 7:00 pm. Doors open at 6:00 pm for socializing, viewing the Show and Tell table, raffle ticket purchases, membership renewals, plant purchases, and AOS judging at the California Sierra Nevada Judging Center.  Meetings typically adjourn by 9:00 pm but occasionally go as late as 9:30 pm.


Meetings feature expert speakers from around the world that cover topics from greenhouse management to species culture to orchid propagation.  Each meeting also includes a plant raffle, a Show & Tell table to display your blooming orchids, refreshments (desserts).

The "Plant Doctor" will be available prior to the meeting in the kitchen from 6:15 pm - 7:00 pm. Our AOS Judges have generously offered to provide this service while they are seque stered prior to their judging session. If you have an ailing plant in need of diagnosis, please bring it enclosed in a plastic zip-top bag to prevent any transmission of pests or diseases. 

Plant Raffle:  Our guest speaker often supplies plants for the evening's raffle table but we occasionally use other sources. This is a fantastic opportunity to obtain great plants at a very low cost!  Raffle tickets cost $1.00 each   You can earn FREE raffle tickets by bringing in plants for the show & tell table, for bringing in a dessert, or for helping in the kitchen. 

Show & Tell:  Our members bring plants to each meeting for display. This is an opportunity to brag and show off your personal achievements. For every plant you bring to Show & Tell, you receive one free raffle ticket which is put into a special drawing for the FIRST plant off the raffle table as an incentive to get people to bring plants in for show and tell.

Refreshments:  Refreshments are provided by the membership on a sign-up basis (usually desserts). When you bring snacks to a monthly meeting, you receive two free raffle ticket.

Plant Sales Table:  The plant sales table is provided for members to bring in extra plants from home that they wish to sell. This is an opportunity for all members to obtain nice orchid plants at very reasonable prices.  The society collects 15% of the sale price of each plant.

Past Programs:

May 2017 - Steve Beckendorf on Why are there so many Orchids?
April 2017 - Dr Lynn Kimsey - Insects & Orchids
March 2017 - Ron Parsons - An Orchid Adventure in Columbia
February 2017 - Carol Klownoski - Orchids of Japan
January 2017 - Ron Midgett - Cattleya Breeding
December 2016 - Annual holiday party
November 2016 - Ken Jacobsen - Cymbidiums
October 2016 - Annual auction and potluck
September 2016 - Dan Newman, Dendrobiums
July/August 2016 - Speakers' Day
June 2016 - Strawberry Social and awards
May 2016 - Peter Lin, "Wild and Wonderful Orchids"
April 2016 - Mary Gerritsen, "Miniature Orchids"
March 2016 - Ron Parsons, "Adventures in Southeastern Australia"
January 2016 - Carol Klonowski - Sarcochilid Orchids
December 2015 - Holiday Party
November 2015 - Cynthia Hill on "My Ten Favorite Orchids and Why I Love Them"
October 2015 - Annual Potluck and Auction
September 2015 - Guillermo Salazar - Orchids of Equador
August 2015 - Speakers' Day
July 2015 - Koch, Tyler, Sorokowski - Growers' Panel
June 2015 - Roy Tokunaga - Blossom Boosting
May 2015 - Strawberry social and awards
April 2015 - Nick Burnett, How Not to Kill Orchids
March 2015 - Denis Olivas, How Hardy are Orchids?
February 2015 - Jonathan Robbins, Orchid media, pots, & care
January 2015 - AOS Judges, 2014 Awarded orchids
December 2014 - Holiday Party
November 2014 - Carol Klonowski, Chinese Slipper Orchids
October 2014 - Annual Orchid Auction
September 2014 - Peter T. Lin, Angraecoids
August 2014 - Speakers' Day
July 2014 - Ricky Wong, Neofenitias
June 2014 - Awards & Strawberry Shortcake Social
May 2014 - Sebastián Vieira, Neooreophilus
April 2014 - Raymond Prothero, Native California Orchids
March 2014 - Jeff Tyler, Bulbophyliums
February 2014 - Dave Sorokowski, Multifloral Papiopedalums
January 2014 - George Hatfield, Cymbidiums
December 2013 - Holiday Party
November 2013 - Cindy Hill, Dendrobiums
October 2013 - Annual Orchid Auction
September 2013 - Francisco Miranda, Laelias