National Orchid Expo 2019

All my good intentions to post here during the Expo in Palmerston North last week were dashed when my little laptop went phut on day two! So here’s a round-up of the winning plants.

Displays came from as far afield as Canterbury and Whangarei orchid societies, speakers from Australia and flasks of seedling orchids from Taiwan and Thailand were for sale. The organisers did a marvellous job and some 2,600 people were reported to have visited the show over its three days.

Conrad Coenen (Tauranga Orchid Society) with his Cattleya intermedia variety orlata ‘Rio’, winner of two Champion rosettes. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Orchid Council of NZ awards for individual plants:

  • Champion Australasian native orchid: Dendrobium Jiggi, Bill Liddy (Hawkes Bay).
  • Champion Cattleya alliance & Champion specimen: Cattleya intermedia var. orlata ‘Rio’, Conrad Coenen (Tauranga).
  • Champion Cymbidium: Cym. Ace of Spies, Villa Orchids (Joe & Betty Vance, NZ Orchid Society).
  • Champion Dendrobium: Den. aphyllum, Barry Baxter (Waitakere).
  • Champion hybrid: Paphiopedilum Vogue Wonder ‘Shellnick’, grown by Chris Whitby (Hawkes Bay, but exhibiting on his own stand).
  • Champion miscellaneous genera: Lycaste Auburn, Conrad Coenen (Tauranga).
  • Champion Oncidiinae: Oncidium Golden Rialto, Leroy Orchids (Lee & Roy Neale, Waitakere).
  • Champion Paphiopedilum & Champion species: Phragmepidiumcaudatum ‘Jacqui’s Dream’, Thomas Petrie (Hawkes Bay but exhibiting on Chris Whitby’s commercial stand).
  • Champion Phalaenopsis alliance: Phal. Yu Pin Dream Girl, Gillian Lyster (Nelson).
  • Champion Pleione: Pln. Loulan ‘Elegance’, Graham Jackson (Manawatu).
  • Champion Pleurothallid alliance: Masdevallia Hot Shot ‘Tis Gorgeous’, Paul Topp (Wairoa).
  • Champion Sarcochilus: Sarc. falcatus ‘Ira Butler’, Janice Brown (Wellington).
  • Champion Vandaceous alliance: Aerangis fatuosa, Gillian Lyster (Nelson, a tiny plant).
Grand Champion of the show: Phragmepidium caudatum ‘Jacqui’s Dream’, grown by Thomas Petrie. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Thomas Petrie is only 33 and has been growing orchids for 15 years! He trained at Wellington Botanic Gardens. Read more about Thomas here. The same plant was the 2018 OCNZ Orchid of the Year so it has done well for Thomas.

Reserve champion: Paphiopedilum lowii ‘Katipo’ (Jason Strong, Hawkes Bay but exhibiting on Chris Whitby’s stand). Photo: Sandra Simpson

Display awards: Champion commercial display: Chris Whitby. Champion tabletop display: Nelson Orchid Society. Champion society display, small: NZ Paphiopedilum Alliance. Champion society display, large & Grand Champion display: Waitakere Orchid Society.

Tauranga’s Helen McDonald received a second placing for her table-top display, ‘Memories of Japan’. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Bill Liddy was presented with an Award of Honour for outstanding service to OCNZ, including his decade-long stewardship of the Iwitahi Native Orchid Reserve (on the Napier-Taupo highway), and Colin McKenzie of the Otago Orchid Club, which is in its final year of existence, received a Special Service Award. Colin joined not long after the club was formed in 1976 and has been president for many years. The club had the champion display the last time the Expo was held in Palmerston North (2010).

And don’t forget that the Tauranga Orchid Show is rapidly approaching – October 11-13 at the racecourse, open 10am-4pm daily.