November 2014: Newsletter 363

October Day Meeting

We had a lovely fine day for 25 club members to meet at Diane’s immaculately gardened home. Nobody bothered about having a cuppa first, as they spread out exploring her wonderful gardens and orchid houses.

Diane’s orchid houses are a treat to visit, with such a wide range of orchids all neatly shelved or hanging in baskets or hangers from tight chains stretching the length of the orchid house. Nothing seemed cramped and all plants were receiving an even amount of light. The largest orchid house has wonderful roll-up walls that give a great airflow, assisted by large fans.

She hand waters so she can check over her plants as she moves around the house. The smaller grow house can be closed up tight and heated, to counter the heavy frosts that settle in this low farmland area. But as Diane says, “If the plants can’t handle the cold, what is the sense in trying to grow them here”.

We gathered in the house for refreshments only to find a “Granny’s Orchid Delirium” in the lounge, where lovely Phallies had taken over most flat surfaces. But most members were soon outside again exploring more interesting garden corners, luxurious rose gardens, a packed front porch or vege gardens.

October Evening Meeting

Present: 34 members & 4 visitors.


Notes courtesy of the Manawatu Orchid Society:

Iwitahi Orchid Reserve is an outstanding site of national significance. It consists of 21ha of Pinus nigra in the Kaiangaroa forest. This area of pine forest is protected under a Heritage Protection Order because of the outstanding list of 30+ species of NZ native orchids growing there.

Previously it had been run by a small band of enthusiasts under the auspices of the Taupo Orchid Society. Sadly with the decline of numbers and an aging membership, Taupo were unable to continue administering Iwitahi. Maintenance of the site was largely funded by the Ministry for the Environment and Hawkes Bay District Council. Responsibility for administering an HPO must be held by a Heritage Protection Authority. The Taupo Society had held that authority so it was important that someone else took it up so that the funding and protection order could remain in place. The Orchid Council agreed to take on this role, however the leg work would still be done by local enthusiasts – the “Friends of Iwitahi”. This is seen as a useful role that Council can play and adds a focus to NZ native orchids that was previously lacking.

Most orchid enthusiasts have at least a passing interest in native orchids even if they don’t grow them, so this involvement sits well with the Council. Work on site includes weeding, possum control, fencing and, strangely enough, planting more Pinus nigra. The chief reason that there are so many native orchids in this area seems to be immediately attributable to Pinus nigra. It is therefore important to plant new trees to replace old trees that have fallen and to expand the area that the orchids grow in.

Some of the orchids found at Iwitahi are Gastrodia cunninghami, Petalochilus bartlettii and Thelymitra longifolia. Others such as the bearded Calochilus robertsonii and Chiloglottis comuta will not be so familiar.


Our guest speaker was Bill Liddy, a member of the Orchid Council, who was asked to take responsibility for Iwitahi as he has a background in forestry. He explained that as the surrounding pine forests were removed the small block of Nigra was left exposed and the trees suffered wind and snow damage during storms. This and the loss of needles has let in too much light, allowing regeneration of weeds and loss of habitat for the native orchids.

They have tried replanting the Nigra trees with little success, but are now presoaking the seedling roots with an anti-fungal and spraying the trees with copper to achieve improved results Another problem arises as there is only one nursery growing Nigra, because the tree produces no financial return crop. With Iwitahi‟s interest, the Nelson nursery will be growing additional trees, to add to the 170 seedlings planted lately.

Working bees in the past have formed rough loop tracks through the block to all the major areas of native orchid patches, and in the days of the Taupo Orchid Club’s control, marked and grid mapped the whole block. Sadly, most of the markers and original paper-work have been lost.

As Bill explained, the biggest problem now is the age of members left trying to maintain and care for this Reserve. He showed us photos of some of the native orchids orchids found growing there, and advertised the annual Iwitahi Reserve working bee on the first weekend of December. Attendees stay at nearby Sika Lodge, have plenty of social time, visits to the Reserve, some lectures, some maintenance work among the nigras and will be well fed from Friday evening until Sunday lunch, all for about $70 to $80.

Read more about native orchids.

Popular Vote October 2014

Conrad Coenen: Den. (Dockrilla) linguiforme 1st.

Barbara Nalder: Sarco. Hartmannii (hybrid) 2nd
Masd. Falcata ‘Una’ 3rd.

B & N Simmonds: Cattleya (unknown hybrid).

Elizabeth Bailey : Aranda Nadrah Alsagoff ‘Pink’ (= Arach. Hookeriana x V. Dawn Nishimura).

Display Plants
(* = Note correct &/or new name. [?] = Not identified.)

Barry Curtis: Sarco. Heidi ‘Mushroom’ x Melody ‘Cassie’; Peristerchilus Harlequin ‘Court Jester’ x Sarco. Hartmannii ‘Ginger Snow’; Sarco. Fitzhart: Oda. Petite Lace x Oda. Shelley Jane; Leysa ‘Bestawon’ AM/AOS; Onc. Sweet Sugar; Zygo. no name; Cym. Pixie; C. intermedia; C. intermedia?; Phal. Flight of Birds x Super Stupid; Pleione Janus; Phal. Unnamed (white); Paph. Unnamed.

Brian & Natalie Simmonds: Cattleya unnamed (bright orange, possibly Trick or Treat); Epicattleya Kyoguchi ‘Happy Field’; C. Grodske’s Gold (crossed with other cattleyas of uncertain identity).

Conrad Coenen: Cattleya unknown (large white); C. intermedia var. alba; Angulocaste unknown; Cym. Gladys Whitesell; Lycaste Auburn; Lyc. Koolena.

Helen McDonald: Gomesa croesus; Aerangis fastuosa; Miltoniopsis? Beacon Hill; C. warneri; C. amethystoglossa; C. intermedia ‘Gigi’ x ‘Concolor’; Den. Pukekura; Sarco. Double Wine; Lyc.Wyld Court x Shoalhaven; Wils. Tiger Glow ‘Taikura’ HCC/NZOC.

Wilma Fitzgibbons: Gomesa croesus; Barbosella arcuata; Poystachia sp.; Sarco Elise x Velvet; Sarco. Fitzhart x hartmannii (= Sarco. Heidi)*; Lepanthes tentaculata; Lepanthes Telipogoniflora; Masd. Rubicon.

Trevor & Pam Signal: Sarco. Perky; Sarco. Cherie x falcatus; Sarco. Jeanne; Sarco. Lost label; Sarco. Fizzy Dove ‘Grahame’; Sarco. Heidi x spathulatus; Sarco. Cream Cake ‘Pixie Dust’; Onc. Meirax; Den. Hainanense; Masd. Southern Sun; C. intermedia.

Barbara Nalder: C. Amazon Trick; Laela flava hybrid; Sarco. Carnival; Sarco. Hartmanii hybrid; Sarco. Velvet x Fairy ‘Scarlet’ (= Sarco. Jill) *; Sarco. Issy’s Rainbow; Sarco. George Colthup; Phal. Alabaster; Sarco. Burgundy on Ice x Fizzy Dove ‘Grahame’ (= Sarco. Fizzy Ice)*; Masd. Peppermint Rock x coccinea ‘Girlie’; Masd. lost label (pink).

Elizabeth Bailey: Masd. Rice Queen; Masd. Tuakau Candy; Masd. Paradise Sunset; Masd. Peppermint Rock; Sarco. Surf; Dendrochilum glumaceum; Cym. Unknown – ex Lorna Gray.

Diane Hintz: C. intermedia ‘Gigi’; C. intermedia var. suavissima; C. intermedia ‘Gigi’ x concolor; C. intermedia ‘Pamela Juroferd’?; C. intermedia ‘Alana’; Den. Penny Rose x Yondi; Angulocaste Paul Gripp ‘Brenda’ AM/OCNZ; Lyc. Sunrise ‘Eve’ x Kawana ‘Bern’; Ascda. Penny Rose x Yondi; Sarco. Dove x Heidi; Sarco. Yvette; Sarco Candice; Sarco. Fitzhart x hartmannii (= Sarco. Heidi)*; Sarco. Melba x Fitzhart (= Sarco Judith)*; Sarco Aussie Dawn x hartmannii ( = Sarco. First Light)*.

Sandra Simpson: Phal. no name; Sarco. Cherie x Star Struck; Den. Nobile; Coel cristata v. alba.

Beryl Goodger: Paph. Denehurst ‘Surprise’ x Jolly Green Gem (= Paph. Hamana Surf)*.