Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m., Mary Gerritsen, Ph.D., will be speaking to us (via ZOOM from the Bay Area) on the topic – Miniature Orchids and How to Grow Them.
Mary has been interested in plants for most of her adult life, and has been growing orchids on and off for the last 40 years, despite several cross country moves as part of her “other life” as a biomedical scientist. Her passion for orchids was rekindled when she moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1997 and attended an orchid show. Returning home with a few plants, she decided to join a local orchid society to learn more about taking care of them, and from these beginnings, her current passion grew exponentially! Now Mary truly has put her roots down, and has orchids in two greenhouses, five lath houses, her front porch, sun room, and anywhere else she can put them. Her collection of about two thousand plants, mostly species, is rich in masdevallias and other miniature orchids of many different genera. She has co- authored five botanical books with co-author and photographer Ron Parsons Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World, Calochortus, Mariposa Lilies and their Relatives, A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species, A Bay Area Guide to Orchids and their Culture and most recently The American Orchid Society Guide to Orchids and their Culture. Mary has served as a president and vice president for both the Peninsula and San Francisco Orchid Societies, and is currently chief operating officer and treasurer of the Orchid Conservation Alliance and a director of the Orchid Digest. In addition to growing orchids and writing about them, Mary loves to travel to see orchids growing in their native habitats and her adventures have included orchid trips to Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand, China, Borneo, Sulawesi, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Madagascar and South Africa.
Mary’s lecture “Miniature Orchids and How to Grow Them” will feature in depth growing tips and a presentation of Mary’s selection of the most desirable miniature orchid species. Defined as those orchids whose vegetative growth (e.g. pseudobulb+leaf) is less than 6 inches in size, this definition encompasses literally thousands of desirable orchids from the majority of popular genera. For the windowsill grower, terrarium grower, or the grower with limited space, miniature orchids offer incredible diversity and beauty.