[pleurothallid-l] FW: Student Judge looking for opinions

Lynn O'Shaughnessy freespirit at pleurothallids.com
Tue Nov 6 21:43:36 EST 2012

I received this question through the Pleurothallid Alliance website.
Answers are most welcome.  I will be sure they are passed on.



Lynn O


Hi, I am working on a talk regarding the reluctance of the AOS to award
flower quality awards to very tiny flowers- despite many of them having all
the characteristics considered highly desirable in other (larger) flowers.
Below is the text from the question I have been putting up on orchid forums.
I would love to hear from some of you- in fact- I may have already. 


I am particularly looking for a solution to this issue, is it equipment-
things that magnify, dissect, take good photos? Is it a reasonable data base
so one can actually compare the candidate to another? Is it overcoming the
prejudice in the AOS, it was based on the cut flower industry after all, or
what? What does it take to make a tiny plant with equally tiny flowers, a
thing of beauty? 


Any responses would be delightful, I am also looking for photos to use, so
if you have a plant that really wants to strut its stuff, please pass the
pic on, I'll credit you.


What follows is the board post:



My new research topic is on the issue of why miniatures are so often
relegated to getting a CHM or a CBR, even though many of them have flowers
that are full flat and round.


Below are some of the things people have said to me, these are
growers/hobbyists/judges/vendors etc.


"We give it a CBR if we would mow it over, and a CHM is something we would
keep in our greenhouse."


"Shouldn't the standards of beauty be just that? Standards- meaning that a
restrepia should not be compared to the size of a cattleya."


"Centers with equipment, dissecting microscopes, special camera lenses, etc,
tend to be more likely to award these plants (minis.)"


"We are losing an entire market for the AOS, people become disenfranchised
when their plants are only considered for two types of award."


"The AOS was designed to be about the cut flower market. That means big."


"I want the Wow factor to reach me from across the room, either as several
large flowers, or many tiny flowers en masse. The former is flower quality
material, the latter? CBR or CHM."


"Beauty not easily noted by the naked eye isn't beauty."


"At our sales table we see less of the devoted hobbyist, you know, the kind
of person who wants the latest pleuro on the market- people who only bought
one type."


"Miniatures represent an enormous market as people are downsizing, being
able to grow minis successfully in terrariums, under lights means that they
are becoming even more popular."


"They are really just weeds."


As you can see, I have written down all sorts of commentary. Now I would
love to hear from all of you- as people who love these plants. I too, have
gone over to the minis, having first fallen for restrepias, now I have
several terrariums of all sorts of pleuros.


Personally I believe that the AOS is failing to evolve with the times. I am
also concerned about the lack of consistency between judging centers across
the US. As a dog/poultry/horse showing person, I know that lack of
consistency is the quickest way to cause the public to lose interest, and
that public, or fancy as we call it in the dog world, is who really controls
the money. These are the people who join associations, come to orchid shows,
enter plants in judgings, buy from vendors- you get the picture. 


I would love some responses to the things I have been told, also would love
your own ideas, along with a possibly solution- a data base of enough
pictures of each type of mini- I know, crazy- but to really know if a flower
is unique amongst its peers, one must have comparisons, and this does seem
to be a real problem in the AOS.


Thank you in advance for your help. The talk is largely complete, but I want
to hear your words first.


Happy Growing

Ellen Coss Kennedy and Coco the Wonder dog


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