Orchid of the Year 2015

The annual Orchid of the Year award was made tonight at the NZ Orchid Show and Conference dinner with the honour going to Masdevallia Otago Gold ‘Screamer’ grown by Maurice Bycroft of Matamata.

A photo of it graces the cover of this year’s Orchid Journal, a publication available to members of all societies affiliated to the New Zealand Orchid Council.

The plant, which has orange flowers, was bred by Ron Maunder of Tauranga and named Otago Gold by Graham Letts, who lives in Alexandra in central Otago. The cultivar ‘Screamer’ was named by the late George Fuller, where this plant originated.

The dinner saw a number of other awards made: Special Service Award to Diana Elfleet of Auckland; Judges’ Long-service Awards (more than 25 years) to Allan Rockell (Bay of Plenty), Mike Davidson (Waikato) and David Turner (Hawkes Bay); and the John Easton Excellence Award to Clive Perry (Taranaki).

The rain arrived today from mid-morning which may have deterred some from attending the show – tomorrow is your last chance. The point was made at tonight’s dinner that the displays in the ASB Showgrounds pavilions are of an international standard … plus there’s the chance to purchase beautiful plants, interesting plants or even beautiful, interesting plants!

The show is open from 10am-4pm, entry $10. See you there! Just to whet your appetite, here are some photos from the last couple of days.

Cattleya Stippled Sunset ‘Sundown’ grown by Lee and Roy Neale is Champion Hybrid Cattleya. Photo: Sandra Simpson

A delightful tableau from the NZ Orchid Society’s display – Dendrobium Teagon’s Delight with a watercolour painting of it. Photo: Sandra Simpson


The NZ branch of the Cymbidium Society of America has pulled two classic cars into its display. This is detail from the 1962 Dodge 330 Dart. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Orchid show champions

Apologies for not having posted these sooner – last weekend two computers went phut, and then needed to catch up on actual paid work. Never mind, here we are with the winners from last weekend’s Tauranga Orchid Show. Cattleya intermedia is an orchid that’s native to Brazil and is an interesting one because it comes in a variety of colours with the flowers slightly differently shaped. Read more about it here.

Champion: Cattleya intermedia variety orlata ‘Rio’, grown by Maurice Bycroft of Matamata. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Reserve champion: Zygoneria Kings Park grown by Brian Enticott of Tauranga. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Zygoneria orchids are a hybrid between two allied families – Zygopetalum and Neogardineria. The cross produces a green flower on a more compact plant with better colour combinations than Zygopetalums, and more fragrance. As you can see it is a free flowering cross too, always a bonus. The Zygoneria Kings Park line is smaller again than the original cross.

There was plenty on show to catch the eye, including these beauties …

Paphiopedilum hainanense x wardii. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Dendrobium Nora Tokunaga was bred by well-known Hawaiian orchid grower Roy Tokunaga. Photo: Sandra Simpson

This Dendrobium is made from plants native to New Guinea (Latouria dendrobiums) and you can read more about a particular group of those orchids, including a mention of the one above, here. Den. Nora Tokunaga needs heat to do well.

Lee and Roy Neale of Leroy Orchids had this beauty on their stand – Epicattleya Gerardus Staal ‘Muzza’. Photo: Sandra Simpson

This little sweetie is Cymbidium Magic Devon ‘Maisie’. Photo: Sandra Simpson