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

James Rassmann rassmann541 at msn.com
Tue Nov 6 22:29:01 EST 2012

In b/t the election news here's a response:

Miniatures generally aren't passed over, but smaller flowered species (botanicals) are.

When I started judging 30+ yrs. ago judges wouldn't look at a "small", out of the ordinary "botanical". In fact I recall one elderly judge loudly saying (braying), "get that crap out of the judging room". Now interesting botanicals appear in many Centers frequently.

I see occasional efforts by some judges to talk up a typical clone of one small species or another. That's unfortunate as there really are great clones out there of many species - including the small things. Unfortunately judges who don't travel overseas rarely see the "good stuff". Come to the Medellin, Colombia Orchid Show and get your socks knocked off!

Judges of longer tenure tend to be fixated on the standards (Cats, Phals, Paphs and so on). Younger judges tend to be more open to interesting small things.

"Beauty not easily noted by the naked eye isn't beauty." This statement must come from a very short sighted (no pun intended) judge. Have this person get glasses or a loupe. Or perhaps a better Center photographer.

Judging Centers are not homogenous! Some are deeply entrenched in the dark ages on many levels. As a member, and later Chair, of the JC for many years I can say with some experience that Judging Centers march to the beat of very different drummers - some of whom can't keep the rhythm going to save their lives.

Jim Rassmann - feel free to pass on my name.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lynn O'Shaughnessy<mailto:freespirit at pleurothallids.com> 
  To: pleurothallid-l at lists.ibiblio.org<mailto:pleurothallid-l at lists.ibiblio.org> 
  Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 6:43 PM
  Subject: [pleurothallid-l] FW: Student Judge looking for opinions

  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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