Members of the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty orchid societies have returned triumphant from the recent national Orchid Expo in New Plymouth.
Barry Curtis, president of the Tauranga society, won grand champion of the show with his miniature Cymbidium Cricket, a plant he says always covers itself in flowers – this year it has produced 20-plus spikes with 40 flowers on each spike.
Cricket, which has brown-toned flowers, also picked up the show’s champion hybrid title.
From the photo you can see what an effort Barry must have made to get the hanging flowers from his home near Katikati to New Plymouth in superb condition (I’ve been told he hung it from his caravan’s ceiling for the journey).
Erica Cowdell of Omokoroa won a section champion with Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum var. esquirolei, plus three first prizes with other slipper orchids.
Champion in the Vanda section went to Vanda Princess Mikasa Sapphire owned by Diane Hintz of Te Puke, who received placings for other orchids.
Others who had plants placed in their section were Trevor and Pam Signal (who have recently moved to Papamoa), Elizabeth Bailey, Natalie and Brian Simmonds, Ron Maunder and Laurie Dawbin. Conrad Coenen won a certificate of culture.
The three-yearly expo sees orchid societies from around the country mount large displays which are judged as a whole, while the individual plants are also judged in their respective categories. The next expo is in Auckland in 2016.