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Brandon Tam
"Growing Stanhopeas Outdoors in Southern California"
TUESDAY, July 14, 2020
7:00PM - NOTE DIFFERENT TIME AND DATE!
NOTICE: THIS MEETING IN THE CHURCH HALL HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS. INSTEAD, THE PRESENTATION WILL BE ON THE INTERNET. OSSC MEMBERS WILL BE SENT A LINK WHERE THEY CAN HEAR AND VIEW THE PRESENTATION AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE DATE OF THE PRESENTATION.
OSSC is reserving a limited number of seats for visitors for this presentation. To reserve your seat, simply email your request to .


about our speaker

Photo of Brandon TamBrandon Tam is passionate about his career as the Orchid Collection Specialist at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.

Brandon’s grandmother first introduced him to orchids when he was seven by giving him a white cymbidium. He volunteered at the Huntington during high school, and when he graduated at age 16, Dr. James Folsom, Director of the Botanical Gardens, offered Brandon a full-time position as the Orchid Collection Specialist. Brandon has managed the collection for over ten years. While working with Dr. Folsom to reinvigorate the Huntington’s orchid collection, Brandon attended California State University Polytechnic, Pomona, and earned his Bachelor of Science in Plant Science degree in 2015.

Brandon now oversees one of the largest orchid collections in the United States, which has grown from 2000 to over 10,000 plants in the past ten years. The Huntington has quickly built one of the five most diverse orchid species collections in the world. The collection is housed in over 26,000 square feet of growing area, which includes the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory and three collection greenhouses, dedicated specifically for tropical plants. He also oversees the Huntington’s 50 Amorphophallus titanums (better known as the “Corpse flower”), and has successfully bloomed six since 2014.

Under Brandon’s direction, The Huntington has won over 100 awards from the American Orchid Society within the last three years, which includes five First Class Certificates and three Certificates of Cultural Excellence. At the American Orchid Society Fall 2016 Members Meeting, The Huntington received The Merritt W. Huntington Award, which gives international recognition for the “Most Outstanding Orchid” in the year of 2015 for Paphiopedilum micranthumHuntington’s Perfection’ FCC/AOS. In 2016, The Huntington received not just one, but two American Orchid Society Special Annual Awards! Lycaste consobrina ‘Huntington’s Finest’ AM-CCE/AOS received the Butterworth Award which goes to the grower of the plant exhibiting the finest orchid culture. It also received the Benjamin C. Berliner award which is given to most outstanding example of the genus Lycaste or its closely allied genera. At the time of judging, it had a total of 287 flowers and 7 buds.

In Brandon’s spare time, he loves to travel, and of course…EAT! He joined Harold Koopowitz and others on a trek in Ecuador led by Pepe Portilla, where the group saw many wild orchids and focused on the study of Selenipedium aequinoctiale. Additionally, Brandon was elected as Trustee of the American Orchid Society, for a three-year term, which started March 2018.

ABOUT THIS PRESENTATOIN: Growing Stanhopeas outdoors in Southern California is actually a lot easier than you think! Even with our extreme climates here in So. Cal., minimal accommodations can be made to grow and bloom them successfully. Even though the flowers of this genus are short-lived, the ease of growing them, along with their strange and intricate flowers, make this orchid worth growing.

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news in brief

  • IN MEMORIUM [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn, with input from Merle Arnold and OSSC Golden Circle Member Alfred Hockenmaier on May 28, 2020]
    Photo of Dan DickeyIt is with a very heavy heart that we announce the passing of OSSC Past President and Golden Circle member Dan Dickey. He died on Sunday, May 17 in his Santa Rosa Valley home, accompanied by his partner of 35 years Arnold Merle, after spending seven months fighting stage four metastatic cancer. He was a real “trooper” throughout this entire ordeal enduring four surgeries and many rounds of chemotherapy. Being a very private person, he did not want any notices posted on social media till he was gone.
    His lifelong passion was the growing of orchids for which he received many awards and honors, including the Masatoshi Miyamoto Cattleya Alliance Award of the American Orchid Society. He was pleasantly surprised when one of his prized plants appeared on the cover of the Awards Quarterly of the American Orchid Society. Dan also used to regularly exhibit his plants at the annual Santa Barbara Orchid Show and at the East West Orchid Show in Los Angeles. He was an invited speaker at many of these shows and was always willing to share his knowledge of orchid horticulture. Dan’s success with orchids was his attention to detail in every aspect of cultivation. He would spend hours repotting just a few plants having custom, painstaking techniques that ensured his success that few could match. A few years ago, he donated his entire Paphiopedilum orchid collection to the Huntington Botanical Gardens.
    Mr. Dickey served as 2nd Vice President, then 1st Vice President of OSSC. He stepped up to the office of President when Leonard Dean, who was OSSC President in 1999 and 2000, left Los Angeles in late summer of 2000. Dan exhibited strong leadership during his tenure of 2001-2002, and continued to proactively mentor the officers who followed him, for which we will forever be grateful. As mentioned, Dan was a Golden Circle member of the society, its highest honor which is reserved for only those very few individuals that have gone above and beyond in support of the society and given so much in their time and energy.
    Dan's family and friends will organize a Celebration of Life when Covid 19 restrictions are eased.
  • RE-BLOOMING PHALS  [Submitted by OSSC Member David Lafond on April 17, 2018]

    I have most of my orchids on my outdoor patio, which receives about two hours of direct sun mid-day. Not ideal at all! Not all orchids can handle two hours of direct sun around noon, so my Phalaenopsis are grown indoors by the window in less than ideal lighting. Sometimes we make due with our situations and hope the plants adapt.

    I assumed my Phals would bloom indoors, but last year they did not. Phals need cooler temperatures below 77 F to stimulate bloom. The temperature inside my apartment is less than 77 F so I assumed they would bloom indoors if I kept the heat turned off at night during October. They still didn’t send up any flower spikes. Carol Beule told me she keeps her Phals outdoors until Thanksgiving, and the cooler temperatures stimulate blooms. The only way I could keep my Phals outdoors is to carry them outside and night, then take then inside, protected from harsh sun during the day. The “hobby” was turning into a lot of work, so I didn’t do it, assuming the Phals would bloom during winter indoors where my apartment was below 77 F. Around March, my Phals still did not initiate bloom spikes indoors. I was seriously thinking of discarding them if they weren’t going to bloom indoors, so in a last ditch attempt, I decided to take them outside every night, then take them back indoors every day. So far 3 of the 7 plants have bloom spikes started…..a little late is better than never! I suggest you consult the article “Growing the Best Phals – Part 3” which gives details about temperature requirements to re-bloom Phalaenopsis.

    I need to go put my Phals back outside!

Prior articles found in this section are archived here.

other orchid news

(Most recent articles listed first.)

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