Te Puke Orchid Show

By Sandra Simpson

Just back from the first day of the BOP Orchid Society Show in Te Puke – beautiful flowers and plenty of plants for sale to tempt both newbies and connoisseurs. It was great to bump into people I know from Rotorua, Tauranga and Katikati, all enjoying the beautiful blooms.

As well as a display by the BOP Orchid Society, there are also stands from the Tauranga Orchid Society, the Whangarei Orchid Society, Leroy Orchids (Auckland) and Carl Christensen (Napier).

The show is in the War Memorial Hall in Te Puke’s main street and is open from 10am to 4pm with a $3 entry charge (under 12 free).

The Grand champion and Reserve champion plant will be named tomorrow morning but in the meantime, here are a few photos of the plants on display to tempt you through the doors if you haven’t already been.

The striking flowers of Paphiopedilum Gary Romagna ‘Palm Beach’. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Afternoon sun lights up Oncidioda Charlesworthii on the Tauranga stand. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Ascocenda Nong Nutch x Betty May Steel on the BOP display. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Dendrobium Lori’s Dream on the BOP stand. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Cattleya Brownlee ‘Riga’ x Chocolate Drop ‘Waki’ is grown by Carl Christensen of Napier. Photo: Sandra Simpson

This unnamed Cycnoches orchid is part of the Whangarei Orchid Society display. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Jim Gilchrist’s large Miltonia clowesii lives in a concrete block and covers itself in flowers every year. Photo: Sandra Simpson


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Te Puke Orchid Show

Just heading off to help set up Tauranga’s stands at the Te Puke Orchid Show, which is open to the public tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday from 10am-4pm. There will be displays of flowering plants, plants for sale and a chance to talk to high-quality growers, both commercial and hobbyist.

Entry fee is $3 (free from under-12). See you there!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Newsletters added to website

The process of uploading our newsletters to this website has begun, and they are appearing kind of in reverse order. There is plenty worth re-reading here, including tips on identifying orchid pests and how to deal with them; preparing orchids for a show; and care notes on various orchid families.

There is a new option on the top menu, ‘Newsletters’, and you’ll find them there with a little note alongside each month about the main content.

Happy reading!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Orchid auction / Brian Enticott

Tauranga Orchid Society is hosting its popular annual auction on Tuesday (February 21) starting at 7pm at Wesley Church Hall, 13th Avenue, Tauranga. Everyone is welcome – you don’t have to be a member to come along and bid on plants – please note that payment is by cash only. On arrival please go and see Natalie at the ‘paperwork table’ for a number to be used when bidding.

The auction is a great chance to pick up real bargains, and a fun event. As well as plenty of orchids there are always some other plants on offer too, such as bromeliads, ferns, old-fashioned begonias and so on. My thriving Cuphea came from last year’s auction and has been a splendid food source for bees and bumblebees right through last winter – and cost me the grand sum of $2!

There’s no entry charge for non-members and supper is included.

Longtime Tauranga Orchid Society member Brian Enticott has been good enough to share his orchid story and that has been posted on the Orchid Stories page, or click the link above to go directly to it. Thanks so much to Brian for agreeing to be part of this collection.

If anyone has an orchid story they’d like to share – about themselves or a special plant – please let me know.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Orchid Mantis at Te Papa

Popped in to Te Papa over the weekend and took a wander through the Bug Lab exhibition. Created with the assistance of Weta Workshop, the show includes four ‘pods’ which you enter to find out more about a particular insect – jewel wasp (who makes a zombie out of a cockroach), Japanese honey bees (who work together to kill invading hornets), dragonfly in flight … and the orchid mantis.

Te Papa used an all-white mantis in its short movie, but they also come in delicate shades of pink and white or all pink. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Native to Malaysia, Hymenopus coronatus has evolved to look enough like an orchid (or a flower in general) that it fools passing food – at least that’s what we’ve thought for a long time. However, recent research (includes a short video of the mantis at work) has discovered that prey doesn’t think the mantis looks like a flower but is tricked by its pretty, flower-like colouring.

Read more about the mantis here, and see some great photos of real insects.

The Te Papa show runs until April 17 (entry charge) and will entrance big kids as well as little kids. It then moves to Melbourne and possibly further afield.

Weta Workshop creates plenty of magic at Bug Lab. A giant orchid mantis among giant Phalaenopsis flowers. Photo: Sandra Simpson


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Taranaki Orchid Show 2017


Earina autumnalis, a New Zealand native orchid has a distinctive, and beautiful, scent. Photo: Winsome Edwards

Thanks to Tauranga Orchid Society member Winsome Edwards for sharing her photo record of the event, held in New Plymouth from January 13-15.




Diaphananthe millarii, shown by P and G Fox, is a miniature orchid native to southern Africa.


The Leroy Orchids display with Dendrobium Roy Tokunaga (at top) winning a First and a Second.


Carl Christensen of Napier showed this (beautiful) unnamed Dendrobium, winning a Second.


Ornithocephalus kruegeri is a miniature orchid shown by Wilma Fitzgibbons of the Tauranga Orchid Society. The orchid is native to Trinidad, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.


Maxillaria echinophyta, shown by P and G Fox, is native to Brazil.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s in a name? Almost everything!

Serious growers like to know that their plant is tagged with the correct name – especially if that plant is ever going to be entered in a show. Apart from seeking the opinion of your fellow club members, there are others ways to check that the label that came with your plant is the right name or to finally give a name to an unlabelled plant.

Orchidwiz is a searchable database, available for purchase. Its website says that as of October 2016 the OrchidWiz database contained information on 162,673 orchid hybrids and 32,649 orchid species; 154,315 photographs and illustrations of orchids; 277,335 image references; and 4,763 orchid-species culture sheets by Charles Baker.  OrchidWiz also lists orchid species by 9 continents, 51 regions, and 334 botanical areas. Read more here. As you will see from the website there are various ways to purchase the information.

The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia is an online database that is regularly updated – but covers orchid species only (ie, no hybrids) – and as of December 2016 included 21, 526 species in 855 genera. The site itself is a bit messy visually but is easy enough to negotiate. An annual subscription of $US10/year is requested. Read more here.

Understanding orchid names takes a bit of getting used to. The American Orchid Society offers a walk-through the basics. The Everything Orchids website expands on that a little, read more here.

Hybrid name abbreviations are a test of every grower’s patience – try Ravenvision’s Orchid Abbreviations for help or try this RHS pdf list from 2007.

If you’ve been growing orchids for a while, you’ll be aware that plants are continually being redefined, much of it to do with assigning plants to their ‘correct’ family – Brazilian Laelias are now Cattleyas (as are Sophronitis orchids), for instance, while Dockrillias have been separated from Dendrobiums.

With DNA testing now aiding their research, botanists will continue to ‘split’ or ‘lump’ plants. Whether you change the plant label is up to you but some old hands have been heard to mutter that they’ve given up after re-naming the same plant two or three times … so far! (Even the scientists get outraged, now and again.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment