The South Florida Orchid Society was founded in early 1945 “because of the greatly increasing interest in orchids in southern Florida.” The first President of the society was Alex D. Hawkes, later seceded by Dr. Walter C. Jones. At one of the first meetings, it was permitted by SFOS members to enroll, as charter members, friends who were absent in the armed forces due to World War II. This they did in earnest, concluding that same meeting with 60 charter members.
The SFOS partnered with the Miami Orchid Circle to organize the First Annual South Florida Orchid Show in February 24-26, 1945. In total, the society has presented 65 Miami International Orchid Shows and co-sponsored two world orchid conferences, both in Miami: the 11th World Orchid Conference in 1984, and the 19th World Orchid Conference in 2009.