November 2021 Speaker: Ron Parsons: “Rarities and Oddities of the Orchid World”

Ron Parsons has been growing orchids for more than 45 years, and has been interested in the species for most of that time. He loves to photograph orchids and other flowers whenever he can, and does so as often as possible. Ron has more than 90,000 digital images, most of which are of orchids, and still retains a slide library that exceeds 100,000 botanical images.

He has given more than 500 talks on various botanical topics, and has more than 6500 published photos. Ron has co-authored four books on botanical subjects, all with Mary E. Gerritsen.

The first two, published by Timber Press, are Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World and Calochortus, Mariposa Lilies and their Relatives. Their third book, a two-volume set, A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species was published by Redfern Natural History Productions in January 2014. In 2019 The American Orchid Society Guide to Orchids and their Culture was released, and is on its third printing. They have recently completed a fifth book, a much-revised second edition of A Compendium of Miniature Orchids Species. It is now in four volumes with 3100 photos (1800 of those are new), including those of more than 500 species not in the first edition. The set is being released late this summer, 2021.

For this talk Ron will be joining us via Zoom. This talk features some of the strangest and rarest plants in the orchid family, and includes both terrestrial and epiphytic species. The majority of terrestrial orchids are not in cultivation, and many of those shown were photographed in nature. Most of the epiphytic species presented are in cultivation, and though some may be relatively common, others are not, but hopefully all will inspire a little awe.