Orchids grow all year round so it is not difficult to find something flowering during every month of the year. At Southern Suburbs Orchid Society (SSOS), members grow a wide variety of orchids and seldom have difficulties finding something to bench each month. Here are some examples of what we exhibited in our monthly competition for judging in 2020.
Our monthly benching highlights include:
December is not a month that we normally showcase our flowering plants so it was interesting to see the variety in flower from a dracula to an Australian native cymbidium Suave. This is the time to see softcane dendrobiums such as nobile and in our photographic competition, we had the opportunity to see some native orchids attached to larger shrubs and trees growing in members gardens.
November is usually the last chance for members to show their plants and at this time of year the sarcochilus have their chance to show off their pretty flowers. Other orchids on show are paphiopedilum and dendrochilum and other genera.
October was a mixed bag of entries. There were plenty of cymbidium species and hybrids, native dendrobiums and terrestrials on display.
September was the SSOS Annual Spring Show which was held as a virtual show. The show has it’s own pages of winners and all entrants in each of the member categories of Open, Intermediate and Novice. Although September is a prime time for flowering cymbidiums, there was plenty of other varieties on display including oncidiums, cattleyas, paphs and masdevallias. For further Virtual Spring Show entries see our Show Champions, Novice Entrants, Intermediate Entrants and Open Entrants pages.
August competition was a virtual competition where members submitted photos of their flowering orchids at home. Once again, a wide variety of orchids were on ‘show’ including the winner for August Voting competition – Oncostele Midnight Miracles ‘Massai Red’, two Lycastes including skinneri f. alba, Masdevallia Angel Frost ‘Parfait’ and many cymbidiums which are beginning to flower, including Pali x Canaliculatum cymbidium.
July competition had a fascinating mix of flowering orchids including Oncidiums such as Aviator ‘Pink Suffusion’, Miltonias and Miltassias including Charles M Fitch ‘Tzumi’, the fascinating darkness of a Fredclarkeara ‘After Dark’ and a Polinara mericlone ‘Burana Beauty’. Further exhibits are viewable on our July page.
Our June meeting was a virtual one, due to continuing Covid-19 restrictions on face-to-face meetings and gatherings. Members submitted a variety of flowering exhibits including Laelias and Cattleyas, such as Angel Heart ‘Pink Cloud’ and Seagulls Royal Flush x Vaupes Sunrise x Lynn Spencer. Two other spectacular exhibits included Vanda coerulea ‘Violet Moon’ and the popular vote winner Oncidium sotoanum.
May became our first official Virtual benching competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic. SSOS financial members were allowed to submit a variety of ‘currently flowering’ orchids as part of a Virtual Popular Vote competition, in lieu of official judging. This produced a wide variety of plants including an early flowering cymbidium – Erythrostylum, the spectacular Gomesa Dark Sun x Golden Drops, the tiny flowering Dendrochilum glumaceum and an early flowering Australian native Pterostylis laxa grown from a bulb.
An unexpected event happened which affected all nations around the world. Coronovirus (known as Covid-19). The worldwide spread happened very quickly and as an infectious disease, Australia, along with many other nations around the world shut down many activities which involved people-gathering. This affected orchid clubs and societies who normally met monthly within the confines of local halls. Some club members posted their April flowering orchids and we had enough to create a small page of What’s Growing in April. Here are four of these examples – a Paph. delenatii x Pine Glow and the last of the summer-time flowering Stanhopeas and Gongoras – tigrina and galeata. Also flowering was a Rynochonia Pacific Paranoia ‘Other Side of Cool’ – which almost says what we were all thinking.
March was our last in-house competition for 2020. There was plenty of variety on show including Stanhopeas, such as this Tigrina x Oculata, Vandas – including Somsri Thai Spot, Coelogyne speciosa incarta x lip and a Liparis coelogynoides.
February is our first competition for the year. This is not the time of year for Cymbidiums, but a wide variety of orchids are in flower including many Stanhopeas and a few other varieties such as Doritis pulcherrima, Sartylis ‘Blue Knob’, Brassia verrucosa and the Cattleya Lulu Southern Cross.
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