Remember, guests are always welcome at our meetings!
Axel Cahiz is the co-founder of Amazonia Orchids, a Homestead Orchid Nursery located at 17899 SW. 280th Street, Homestead, 33013, specializing in fragrant Cattleya orchids.
After studying at Clemson University, Axel dedicated his efforts to the hybridizing and propagation of cattleyas in his business.
In addition to cultivating his award winning cattleyas, Axel operates his own hybridizing laboratory where he does seed flasking and tissue culture.
Amazonia Orchids produces and cultivates most of its own orchid inventory in its 22,500 sq. ft. growing facilities.
Among the numerous national and international awards from major orchid shows, Axel won the Reserve Grand Champion Award at the 19th World Orchid Conference held in Miami in 2008.
Bill will have plants for sale as well as also providing plants for our raffles.
Remember, guests are always welcome at our meetings!
This month we celebrate the achievements in orchid growing of our members
during the past year and install our new directors and board for the coming year.
Erna Maxwell, our judging chair, will also be giving a presentation on the proper way to groom our plants for presentation.
Those little things like properly staking and cleaning debris from your plants can make your prized orchid stand out from the crowd.
We can all learn a trick or two here.
Allen Black was exposed to the pleasures of horticulture at a very young age in central Pennsylvania.
Early exposure to houseplants, flowerbeds, and vegetable gardening was common for Allen in his formative years.
Currently, he is a hobbyist orchid grower and breeder (i.e., non-commercial) living in Richmond, VA.
Allen has been growing and breeding orchids for over 20 years.
His main breeding efforts have been directed at Brassavola-Cattleya alliance novelty hybrids.
He has registered over 70 of his orchid hybrids.and has also “dabbled” in daylily breeding, producing 12 registered daylily hybrids.
Larry Cox acquired his first orchid, a cattleya, over forty years ago. His second was a paphiopedilum, Paph. Maudiae ‘Magnificum.’ The cattleya is long gone, but he still has a piece of the paph. When he began with paphs, he commonly heard, “You can’t grow those in South Florida,” but the first one lived and bloomed, and the paphiopedilum collection continued to grow. In the mid 1980’s most of the other orchids were sold or given away, all for the love of paphs. In 1989 he moved from his South Miami residence to a more spacious property in the farming district of southern Miami-Dade County where he built his dream greenhouse of 3000 square feet. He has suffered setbacks, such as hurricane Andrew in 1992, but with perseverance and with the discovery of new paph species ,and the consequent new hybrids, Larry’s love of paphiopedilums has been renewed over and over again. In 1983 Larry won his first AOS award for Paph. Maudiae coloratum ‘Elektra’ AM/AOS, one of the first vinicolors. Since then his orchids have earned over fifty AOS awards, including four FCC’s.
Ten years ago, Larry retired from thirty-seven years as a teacher, the last fifteen teaching Advanced Placement high school English . He now spends his time reading, traveling, maintaining his property and, of course, growing paphs. Larry has experimented with other orchid genera and has found success with lycastes, phragmipediums, and pescatoreas. He has even rediscovered the wonder of cattleyas, particularly species.
Our guest speaker for March will be Dennis Giardina, regional biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
He will talk about the on going Experimental Restoration of Rare and Extirpated Orchids in the Everglades and Big Cypress Basin and his recent adventures in Cuba. Besides being involved with the Florida panthers his career has focused on endangered species recovery and exotic species control, beginning with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at St. Mark, Florida Panther and 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuges. He was the park manager of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park before accepting his current position of Everglades Region Biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Since 2008 , he also been the Co. Chair of Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (ECISMA) and from 2012 to 2014 he was the Chair of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Sheldon Takasaki, the owner of Carmela Orchids in Hawaii, will present our January program. His program is titled “Hawaii’s Favorite Orchids”. If you have never heard Sheldon speak you are in for a treat!
Sheldon is no stranger to SFOS. He was a vendor at the 11 WOC, held in Miami in 1984 and has been a vendor at most of our orchid Shows since 1985. It has been a couple of years since Sheldon has presented a program for SFOS, so we are thrilled to have him back to present the first program of the New Year.
As a young Hawaiian boy, Sheldon grew up picking “field orchids”, the flowers used to make Leis and to put in the drinks of tourists in Hawaii.
Carmela Orchids is located in Hakalau, Hawaii. The nursery was founded in 1960 and has grown over the years from a small collection of orchids grown on top of a bomb shelter to a multi greenhouse operation with an in-house lab. Carmela Orchids is well known for their high standards of quality.