From the Editor’s Desk....
Orchid judging seems to be a perennial subject of conversation after every show. There have been some high and low points surrounding some of the larger orchid shows held in Australia so far this season. The selection of Grand Champion has often been a contentious one. So what plant should win Grand Champion Orchid of a Show? Surely, it should be the best quality orchid on display, but does that always happen? Why do novelty orchids, out of left field, invariably beat more traditional style modern hybrids that are many generations down the track? At times I sympathise with hybrid Cymbidium and Cattleya growers.
One positive to come out of the Australian Orchid Conference, was the thoughtful initiative of putting all the lecturers PowerPoint presentations on a portable USB card. It also contains images of the Show including every display, every champion and all of the 1st and 2nd placed flowers in every class. It is available through the Orchid Society of New South Wales. We have included an advertisement for sales of this memory stick free of charge to the OSNSW.
It was good to see a deserving First Class Certificate being granted to a new Cymbidium hybrid, bred by Greg Bryant, and grown and exhibited by Bryan Janes. Read all about it and its history in this issue. Carl Slusarczyk also gives us a snapshot of the range of cymbidiums being grown and shown in Western Australia.
Sadly over the past few weeks, we have lost three significant Australian orchid identities. Leo Cady always had a deep interest in Australian native orchids, and was involved in the discovery and description of a number of terrestrial species as well as describing the natural hybrid Dendrobium × suffusum in 1964, the cross between kingianum and gracilicaule. He also kept a fine botanically significant collection of Haworthia species (miniature succulents from South Africa) that he donated to the Wollongong Botanic Garden a few years ago. Stephen Clemesha was another champion of our native orchids, he wrote extensively on them in his early years, and named a number of new species, varieties and subspecies. He was the first to seriously attempt a taxonomic treatment of the Dendrobium speciosum complex, back in 1981. He was also an expert on carnivorous plants, ferns, banksias, and other groups of native plants. Sandy Anderson used to run Bananacoast Orchids near Coffs Harbour from the 1980s to the 2000s. They specialised in growing, exhibiting and selling imported “Softcane” Dendrobium hybrids and cultivars, the real Dendrobiums. All three gentlemen will be sadly missed by their many friends in the orchid fraternity.
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Australian Orchid Review