Larry Cox will present our March program. Larry’s lecture is entitled
“Lycastes for South Florida.”
Larry Cox acquired his first orchid, a cattleya, over 40 years ago. His second orchid was a paphiopedilum. He has grown cattleyas, dendrobiums, phalaenopsis, oncidiums, vandas, and less popular genera; but paphs eventually became his favorite orchids and the heart of his collection. In 1989, he moved to the Redlands area of south Miami-Dade County where he built his dream orchid house of 3000 square feet and continued to increase his collection with emphasis on multifloral paphs. Larry enjoys showing his orchids and has earned forty-six awards, including five FCC’s, from the American Orchid Society.
In the early 90’s Larry saw a lycaste in a show; thus began a fascination with another orchid genus. He quickly learned that most lycastes are cloud forest plants and require intermediate to cool growing conditions, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to try some anyway. By reading up on lycastes, he discovered that there are warmer growing species, though they have never been very popular with growers in comparison to their flashier “cool” cousins. It also became readily apparent that lycastes are almost unknown in South Florida, so Larry set out to find plants to experiment with. He now has a collection of lycastes that grow successfully here and has garnered nine AOS awards with them. Though the lycaste collection is not nearly as extensive as the paph collection, Larry continues to search for suitable species and hybrids. He now feels qualified to introduce other orchid growers to this fascinating genus and share his knowledge of their culture and suitable plants for South Florida.
In 2005 Larry retired from an education career of thirty-seven years, the last fifteen teaching Advanced Placement English. Since retirement, he has devoted most of his time to orchids: maintaining the collection, involvement with the Coral Gables Orchid Society, and giving programs on paphs and, now, lycastes. He also finds time to travel and do all the reading he so loves.