OCNZ newsletter: September 2020

What a roller coaster ride of a year we are having with Covid-19! Just when we were about to launch into spring show season Auckland was put back into lockdown which has caused a number of shows to be cancelled. You can check out the casualties on the OCNZ website. If that wasn’t enough disruption, the Howick Orchid Society whose show was booked for October 17, has had to postpone or maybe even cancel because of the change in election date! Their venue is always reserved for the election so now they can’t have the hall that day. I do hope that shows scheduled for the latter part of the season can be held. If you do have to cancel your show please let our webmaster know.

However, you can’t keep a good orchid show down: Toby Marris, Waitakere Orchid Club president, has organised a day of orchid sales with eight traders and a club display set for November 14. More details can be found on the Waitakere Orchid Club Facebook page.

Disa Mara Ferreira

OCNZ recently received an email from Nessa Warne who is looking for a Disa that was named after her partner’s mother. Mara Ferreira lived and worked in South Africa where she developed stoma therapy for which she received a Nelson Mandala award and had a Disa bred and named after her. The orchid’s parents are D. Betty Bay and D. Sister Henrietta Stockdale. Mara’s son Harry came to live in NZ and would now like the plant to remember his mother by. Does anyone in NZ have one of these plants? Apparently D. Betty Bay looks like Mara Ferreira so Nessa would be happy to get one of those. If you are able to help please get in touch with OCNZ secretary Bryan Sutherland and he will pass on Nessa’s contact details.

Lycaste – Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University

Craig McGill is director of the Seed Technology Research Centre at the Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University. He has asked if NZ orchid growers would be willing to provide some Lycaste seed for an international student who is doing research into the storage requirements for several species of Lycaste native to Guatemala. The student was due to return to NZ with seed she was permitted to bring with her from Guatemala but due to Covid-19 restrictions has not been able to return. By the time the student can return to NZ the seed will be of no use. Craig is hoping that some seed may be available in NZ when the student can return. The species of interest are Lycaste cochleata, cruenta, deppei, dowiana, lasioglossa, macrophylla and virginalis. Self-pollinations will be fine, the main requirement is that they are species not hybrids. Craig is looking for a minimum of four capsules per species and they don’t all have to come from the same person. If you are interested in helping please contact Geraldine Wood

Taking Stock – Resolving NZ’s Cultivated Plants Problem

Last month I reported that I attended a Zoom meeting for the above project. Since the meeting I have been asked to become a member of the Governance Group. The role of the Governance Group is to ensure the project is on-track and is delivering the agreed milestones. I hope I will be able to achieve something for the orchid growers.

– Glenys MacRae