July 2017 
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Next Meeting is on Thursday, July 13th, 7:15 pm - 10:00 pm

Contra Costa Water District Building Board Room
 1331 Concord Ave. Concord, CA

Terry Kowalczuk will be Speaking on the Japanese Appreciation of Fuukiran PLUS Providing a Demo on Neofinetia Potting



Once upon a time someone gave Terry Kowalczuk a tiny orchid, about one- and-a half inches long. That was more than 20 years ago. Since then, that little plant has since grown into a collection of more than 1,000 orchids. 

A landscaper by trade, Terry has a greenhouse in back of his Toronto home and is looking to build something bigger to house his orchid collection. Japanese orchids are his specialty. Most are miniatures with many growing in pots hanging in the air.

 "Welcome to the wonderful world of Neofinetia falcata!"

What is remarkable about the miniature species, native to Japan, is that it has transformed itself into thousands of variations and is virtually one species with more than 2,300 distinct varieties. "These varieties have evolved from the regular or 'wild' form that we have for years seen for sale in North America. In the wild, the roots grow firmly attached to trees and rocks and the flowers appear to fly in the wind. The plants are small and produce extremely graceful white flowers that have a fantastic scent, which incidentally is one of the most complex in the orchid world."

For Terry, collecting and selling orchids is both a hobby and a business. "I collect miniatures and everything else that I find odd including a lot from South America, especially Ecuador." He travels to Japan frequently to purchase orchids and meet with other collectors and vendors. He often gives orchid talks and says that the biggest question is always "How not to kill them." 

The secret, he says, is to make sure the center is dry before watering. "I market windowsill orchids. The best place to keep them is in a southwest window. In summer the ideal place is outside under a tree but they don't overwinter here and will go dormant at under 50 F."

Japanese orchids are generally four to five inches wide, with leaves as hard as a succulent. The flowers are mostly white and come in different shapes. "They can cost anywhere from $15 to $300,000. Until just a few years ago it was not unheard of to pay as much as $20,000 for a pink or green one that now costs about $25." The most Terry has paid for a single plant is $1,500. He prefers them under five or six inches, "the smaller the better," he says. "They are so cute." 

There are said to be more than 25,000 species of orchids growing in the wild plus more than 100,000 cultivated hybrids. Some, known as epiphytes, grow on trees, shrubs or rocks while terrestrials grow in soil or humus. Many can be grown in houses and apartments. "Some of the best collections I've seen are in condos," says Terry.

Plant Table will be provided by Terry Kowalczuk

    Dinner with the Speaker 
at 5:30 pm is at Veggie Today, 1909 Salvio St, Concord, CA 94520 

    Everyone is welcome to attend and meet our speaker.  Please notify Lisa Coow  at  925.399.2056   and leave a message. 

Visit the Diablo View Orchid Society page on Facebook: 

It is a CLOSED GROUP page, to which only members can post orchid related pictures and comments. To become a member use this link 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1688682468073346/?ref= ts&fref=ts
and someone will contact you and invite you to the group.

Last update 03/21/18 Webmaster, Ulrike Ahlborn webmaster@diabloviewos.org  
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