Orchid show taster

If today’s wet weather put you off from venturing out, here’s a little photo teaser from the Tauranga Orchid Show to tempt you to visit tomorrow or Sunday – open 10am-4pm at Tauranga Racecourse, $3 entry (under-12 free). Champion plants will be chosen tomorrow.

The kokedama (Japanese moss ball) demonstrations at 11am and 2pm have proved popular and lots of happy buyers left with a kokedama orchid. See you there!

Cattleya Fire Magic ‘Solar Flare’ is grown by Diane Hintz of Te Puke. Photo: Sandra Simpson
This member of the Cattleya alliance, shown on the Whangarei Orchid Society stand, has large ‘puffball’ flower heads on long, thin canes. As tall as me! Photo: Sandra Simpson
Sarcochilus weinthalli, grown by Patricia Hutchins of Sunvale Orchids in Gisborne, is an Australian native species. Photo: Sandra Simpson
A Miltoniopsis (pansy orchid) displayed by Ninox Orchids, Whangarei. Photo: Sandra Simpson
Rhyncholaeliocattleya Village Chief North ‘Green Genius’ is grown by Lee and Roy Neale of Leroy Orchids, Auckland. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Orchid Show Champions

Tauranga Orchid Society is thrilled to have four trophies to award this year – two more than in 2017 and three more than in 2016! A new Reserve Champion trophy has been added by the society and Lynley and John Roy have donated the Alec Roy Cup for Best Cymbidium.

And the winners are …

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A basket of an unnamed Dendrobium nobile has won the Grand Champion title for Hubert Musiers and Tania  Langen (Ninox Orchids) of Whangarei. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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John Edwards from Tauranga proved that size doesn’t matter, winning both Reserve Champion and the Natalie Simmonds Trophy for Best Specimen plant with his Restrepia guttulata. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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Diane Hintz, a member of both the BOP and Tauranga orchid societies, won the Alec Roy Cup for Best Cymbidium with a basket of Cymbidium Hungarian Doll ‘NH’ x devonianum ‘Tuakau’. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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A better look at the flowers of Best Cymbidium. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The show has its last day tomorrow (Sunday), open from 10am-4pm at Tauranga Racecourse, $3 entry (under 12 free).

BOP Orchid Show 2018

Congratulations to Barry Curtis (Tauranga) and Bob Parsons (BOP) who respectively won the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion titles at the Bay of Plenty Orchid Society Show. Despite a somewhat difficult growing season – although not for everyone, clearly – there was a nice range of orchids to look at in the Te Puke War Memorial Hall last Friday and Saturday.

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Grand Champion plant: Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann ‘Buckleberry’ grown by Barry Curtis of the Tauranga Orchid Society. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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A closer look at one of the many dozens of flowers on the plant – and more buds were still forming! Photo: Sandra Simpson

Many people find Elizabeth Ann ‘Buckleberry’ easy to grow but difficult to flower. I didn’t run across Barry at the show to find out what his secret might be!

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Reserve Champion plant: Psychopsis papilio, grown by Bob Parsons of the Bay of Plenty Orchid Society. This plant, sometimes called the butterfly orchid, had about five blooms. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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A basket of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii was a winner for Pat Hutchins, owner of Sunvale Orchids in Gisborne and a member of the Tauranga society. These little orchids grow epiphytically at up to 3000m above sea level in New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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A delightful mini-Paphiopedilum displayed on the Bay of Plenty society’s stand. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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Paph Ruby Leopard x Marie Joyes, grown by Selwyn Hatrick of Rotorua. The pouch appeared almost black, much darker than the camera recorded. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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The striking Cattleya Gila Wilderness ‘Nippon Treasure’ belongs to Bob Parsons. He was given the plant by Andy Easton as that orchid grower and breeder made the move from Rotorua to Colombia. The label may also have a bit more name on the end, but it’s become very hard to read. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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Rhyncholaeliocattleya (Rlc)Village Chief North ‘Green Genius’ was shown by Leroy Orchids of Auckland. Do you like the green petals? Photo: Sandra Simpson

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Warczewiczella Amazon Beauty was shown on the Whangarei Orchid Society stand. As part of the name suggests, the plant is native to the Amazon basin. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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Masdevallia herradurae, or the horse-shoe Masdevallia, was shown by Diane Hintz on the BOP stand. Found in Colombia and Ecuador, this orchid grows at elevations of 500 to 2100m on mossy trees. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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Habenaria rhodocheila is a southeast Asian orchid that grows in deciduous forests. This plant with the striking orange flowers was shown on the Whangarei stand. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Read more about the care of Harbenaria orchids, which have tubers and so are terrestrial growing. The Pacific Bulb Society website includes a page on these orchids.

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The amazing flowers of Habenaria myriotricha, grown by Carl Christensen of Napier. (And thanks to the kind gent who held a black chair in the background while I took the photo.) Photo: Sandra Simpson

BOP Orchid Show

 BOP Orchid Show, Memorial Hall, main street Te Puke, Friday and Saturday, 10am-4pm,  $3 entry (children free).

Among her large collection of orchids, Diane Hintz has some that belonged to her mother and, although unnamed, they are precious to her.

“If you want to show or sell plants they have got to be named,” says Diane, a national-level orchid judge, as was her mother, Rose Bell, who overcame  a steep site and salt-laden winds on Wainui Beach in Gisborne to create a garden that supplied local florists with material.

“She started me on orchids but when you get addicted it’s terminal … and fatal,” Diane laughs.


Dendrobium Hilda Poxon Sunglow. Photo: Sandra Simpson

She began her orchid collection with a “few cymbidiums” when she  married – and after 49 years living on the outskirts of Te Puke has enough to fill two orchid houses, plus  a few growing outside.

“I’ve got to be strict with myself and say that unless it’s something special I haven’t got the room for it. And although there are things I’d like to have, like ondotoglossum orchids, I haven’t got the conditions to grow them.”


Dendrobium engae biggibum. Photo: Sandra Simpson

One of her orchid houses is a cool house which, over a long, hot summer she’s had trouble keeping cool enough. The same problem  occurred in the hot house, although her Dendrobium engae biggibum, a cross between a far north Queensland orchid and one from Papua New Guinea, has soaked it up and flowered madly.

Too much heat is a novel problem for Diane, who is more used to battling the cold.

“We live right on the edge of the swamp and get down to -6C with big frosts. I’ve put frost-cloth curtains on the houses so I can close them right up in winter.”


Vanda Palmerston Blue – which really is blue, despite this photo! Photo: Sandra Simpson

If you don’t have a heat source and want to keep Vandas, Diane recommends putting them on top of a fridge – the transferred heat is often enough to keep them happy.

This article was first published in the Bay of Plenty Times and appears here with permission.

Winners – orchids

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.

Barry Curtis and his Grand Champion plant, the miniature Cymbidium Cricket. Photo: Dennis Chuah.

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.