The Central Ontario Orchid Society

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Celebrating Our Thirtieth Year

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The Central Ontario Orchid Society is a non-profit group of orchid enthusiasts centered in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The Society has over 100 members, stretching from Stratford to Orangeville and from Arthur to Brantford. The club holds meetings ten months of the year in Kitchener, presents an annual show in Cambridge(Hespeler), publishes a monthly newsletter and organizes trips to a number of orchid events each year. Membership is available to individuals of any age or expertise who show a sincere interest in orchids.

Membership in COOS will give you the opportunity to socialize with other orchid enthusiasts while you learn more of the beauty, culture and history of orchids. There are special courses for beginners as well as other programs for the more experienced orchid grower. We invite you to attend our meeting as a guest and see for yourself the excitement that orchids generate and while there, inquire about membership.


At our meetings, we have a regular programme of guest speakers, slide shows, and demonstrations. There is also sales of orchids and orchid supplies, a raffle table, a show table of member's plants, and refreshments. The Society maintains a borrowing library of orchid related literature for use by the members. The meetings provide an opportunity to tap the wealth of experience represented by our more experienced members. Our club members are very friendly, and always open to questions regarding orchid culture. You may also pick up various orchid potting supplies, fertilizers, books and plants at very reasonable prices. We also have a few social events each year, including the annual potluck Christmas party.


Our newsletter comes out a week before each meeting, and notifies members of upcoming meetings, orchid shows and other club events. We also have informative articles on orchid culture, conservation, club events, and other issues of interest to members. You can view some previous newsletters.

Orchid Shows

Our society and other orchid societies in the area each put on an annual show at which we put together a display using member's blooming orchids. Here is the opportunity to participate in the major social events in the world of orchids, meeting other orchid enthusiasts, growers, vendors and judges. These orchid shows are ribbon judged to find the best flowers in the show in each class. They are also judged by judges of the American Orchid Society to find the best flowers in North America. You could enjoy the thrill of winning an award for your favorite orchid.

Our annual orchid show and sale is held the last weekend of September. This is a great chance to see hundreds of orchids in full bloom in the show area, pick up some new plants in the large sales area, see how orchids are used in artistic displays, buy a raffle ticket, attend some educational seminars on orchid culture, and learn more about the club.

Orchid Judging

Orchids presented in displays at an orchid show are usually both ribbon judged and AOS judged. Orchids are ribbon judged against other orchids in that show in classes defined by a judging class schedule. (Usually based on the The Mid-America Orchid Congress schedule.) Plants with outstanding flowers will be AOS judged against standards for that kind of flower and any previous judgings.

There are times when one would like a flower judged outside of a show. You can take your plant to the Toronto Judging Centre. The Toronto Judging Centre monthly judgings are open to all orchid growers. You need not be a member of AOS or SOOS. You can bring your plants to the Civic Garden Centre before one o'clock on the designated Saturday of each month. Plants are judged for AOS awards in accordance with the Handbook on Judging and Exhibition. If your plant is awarded there is a charge by the AOS (about $50.00 US). Non payment forfeits the right to future judging. The Centre welcomes interested persons to come and observe the judging. There are opportunities to assist in plant research and administrative chores.

How To Join

Dues are held to a minimum and normally cover the expenses associated with programs that are put on at each meeting. Membership fees cover the period from January through December. The fee is $15 for an individual or $20 for a family. A student membership is $5 per year.

To join the society or renew your membership please fill in the form - Membership Application/Renewal and either bring it to a meeting or mail it with your fee to the address supplied.

For more information, contact anyone listed on the COOS Executive below.


We have over 60 native orchid species, the lady slippers being the most showy. Please enjoy them where they are. Do not pick the flowers and, above all, do not try to transplant them. The native orchids are very sensitive to their habitat and depend on a variety of fungus for their growth. They do not survive transplanting for very long. Look, admire, but don't touch or trample.

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COOS Orchid Show

You have seen plenty of Phalaenopsis orchids for sale in the grocery stores but did you know that there are thousands of other kinds of orchids? They come in size from something a mosquito would love to the size of a small tree. At the orchid show you will see many of these beautiful orchids arranged in colorful displays. Come to the show. Bring a camera. Learn more about care of orchids. Perhaps buy one for yourself or a friend.

orchid display

The COOS Orchid Show and Sale

Celebrating Our 30th Year

Saturday, Sept 26, 2015 from 11:00am to 5:00pm

Sunday, Sept 27, 2015 from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Cambridge Hespeler Arena,

640 Ellis Road, Cambridge, ON N3C 1A1

AOS Awards Received at the 2015 Show

Phragmipedium Fox Valley Fireball "Dragon's Breath" (Barbara LeAnn x Rosalie Dixler) CCM 85pts Dana&Chris Schreiber
Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi "Calvin" HCC 77pts Crystal Star Orchids
Rlc Green Rattana "Golden Angel" (Rlc Greenwich x Rlc Udomrattana) HCC 77 pts Crystal Star Orchids
Rhynchoides Memoria Suranaree (Rhynchostylis coelestis x Aerides lawrenceiana) AM 82 pts Synea Tan
Cattleya eldorado var flamea AM 82 pts Leslie Ee (brought in for judging)
COOS exhibit AOS Show Trophy 82pts

vendor display

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Meeting Program for 2015

Meetings are held in the basement hall of St. Joseph's Church at the corner of Courtland and Madison in Kitchener on the fourth Monday (unless pre-empted, see the program dates below). Meetings begin promptly at 7:00pm; arrive from 6:30pm for social time and sales. Parking is at the rear of the school; the entrances are off Madison or Cedar. Guests are welcome.

Meeting dates are listed below with the programme, usually a guest speaker or slide show.

January 26 Topic: AOS Outreach Judging. The American Orchid Society's Toronto Judging Centre will host an AOS Outreach Judging at our general meeting. Society members will be encouraged to bring in their plants for evaluation by judges. The judges will review all plants present and may choose what they would like to consider for an AOS award. This will be an opportunity for society members to ask questions and be involved throughout the judging process. Truly an educational experience not to be missed!
Plants awarded - congrats:
Restrepia trichoglossa ‘Alrik’ CHM-AOS 83 points Gerhard and Erika Kompter
Paphiopedilum Winston Churchill ‘Alec ‘ CCM-AOS 86 points Gerhard and Erika Kompter
Paphiopedilum Sorcerer's Stone ‘Golden Leprechaun’ HCC-AOS 75 points Sharon Shapiro
February 23 Special event: Fund Raiser Plant Sale, sales will start at 6:30 and will resume during break. All proceeds going towards the purchase of a society computer and suitable computer programs. There will be something for everyone and a sale you don't want to miss!
Most are potted with a few being mounted, a selection of Cattleyas, Epi's, Phrags, Paphs, etc., a few in spike and there are even two large divisons of Dendrochilum wenzelii 'Jennifer' HCC/AOS (The owner of the mother plant had received both CCM/AOS and CCE/AOS awards!)
At 7:00 pm the meeting and program will begin and the topic will be an Orchid Digest Presentation: Phalaenopsis Species and their Culture, Prepared by Paul and Ann Tuskes, presented by Chuck Lefaive.
During the break, the plant sale will resume followed by the elections, other notices and raffle draw.
Hope to see you all there!
March 23 We will have an Orchid Clinic where members can bring in troubled plants for some assistance. Also we will discuss a few common illnesses and signs, as well as touch on repotting.
April 27 Dr Larry Peterson, University of Guelph Professor Emeritus will be speaking on "The Fascinating Biology of Orchids" The talk covers many aspects of orchid biology including the factors that have resulted in the Orchidaceae being the largest family of flowering plants, interactions between orchids and beneficial fungi (partly based on his own research in this area), characteristics of epiphytic orchids, and threats to orchid species in nature. This talk is sure to interest both novices and those with more advanced knowledge of orchids. His recently Published book: "When is a 'flower' not a flower?" will also be available to purchase for $25 at the meeting.
May 25 T.J. Hartung author of "Orchids of Mexico". Mr. Hartung is from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where he is on the board of directors with the Vallarta Botanical Gardens.
June 22 Last meeting before summer break. Gerhart Kompter “Putting Your Plants Outside" Silent Auction. Pot Luck Social - Appetizers and Desserts
September 14 First meeting of the new season. OrchidWiz demonstration. Getting ready for our show.
October 26 Rob Gardiner of Hamilton Greenhouses will be speaking at our October meeting on Orchid Media - what to use in your collection. He will discuss different orchid mixes, what the do, and which media is best for specific orchids. Rob will also have an assortment of blooming orchids for sale.
November 30 Our Christmas party and pot luck dinner. Bring plants for the silent auction.
December No meeting.

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The COOS Newsletter

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The COOS Executive

President: Dennis Lang
Phone: 519-749-1019 Email:
Vice President: Nancy Fieder
519-658-5062 Email:
Treasurer: Cathy Ralston
Phone: 519-763-4260 Email:
Secretary: Mary Ann Lang
Phone: 519-749-1019 Email:
Past President Gerhard Kompter
Phone: 519-745-3815
COOS Display Coordinator: Ed Ratcliffe
Phone: 519-669-2542 Email:
Ed is the person to contact about having a COOS display at your show.
Show Chairs: Gerhard Kompter
Phone: 519-745-3815
Frank Maine
Phone: 519-823-1089 Email:
Contact the show chair regarding questions about our show in September
Editor: Cathy Ralston
Phone: 519-763-4260 Email:
Emporium: Ed Ratcliffe
Phone: 519-669-2542 Email:
Hospitality: Nancy Fieder
519-658-5062 Email:
Library: Chuck Lefaive
Phone: 519-208-4836 Email:
Membership: open
Program: position open
AOS/MAOC/COC/OD Rep: Chuck Lefaive
Phone: 519-208-4836 Email:
Webmaster: Jerry Bolce
Phone: 519-885-1888 Email:

Please address Society mail to: COOS, 41 Woodside Rd., Guelph ON N1G 2H1

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Orchids form a very diverse family with a wide range of cultural requirements. Some orchids are grown very easily on a windowsill and some require great skill to match their needs. An orchid society is the place to meet other growers and get the advice to grow and bloom that special plant.

Here are a few Youtube videos to get you started.

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The Society is a member of
The Canadian Orchid Congress and on Facebook;
The Mid-America Orchid Congress;
The American Orchid Society and on Facebook.

For Orchid culture information and extensive links to other related web sites see The Orchid House.

The Canadian Orchid Congress maintains a list of Canadian Orchid Vendors
and also the Canadian Orchid Shows
Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia

The Central Ontario Orchid Society Constitution and Bylaws approved January 2008.

Orchid Register Search

Find the parents of your hybrid or to see if your cross has been named by searching at the Royal Horticultural Society Orchid Register.

The Orchid Board

Visit The Orchid Board "The Source For All Your Orchid Needs" - forums, club listings, events calendar, articles, blogs, etc.

Orchid Pests

First Rays' Home treatments
St.Augustine OS Pests&disease

Orchid Culture Sheets

Culture notes from the Canadian Orchid Congress

Culture notes from the American Orchid Society

Canadian Orchid Societies

British Columbia
Central Vancouver Island Orchid Society
Fraser Valley Orchid Society
North Okanagan Orchid Society
Okanagan Orchid Society
Richmond Orchid Club
South Okanagan Orchid Society, Contact: Joan Hrncirik
Vancouver Orchid Society
Victoria Orchid Society

Foothills Orchid Society
Orchid Society of Alberta

Regina Orchid Society
Saskatchewan Orchid Society

The Manitoba Orchid Society

Central Ontario Orchid Society
Essex County Orchid Society
Kingston Orchid Society
London Orchid Society
Niagara Region Orchid Society
Orchid Society of the Royal Botanical Gardens
Ottawa Orchid Society
Southern Ontario Orchid Society
Toronto Artistic Orchid Association
Windsor Orchid Society / La Société des Orchidophiles de Windsor

Eastern Canada Orchid Society
La Société des Orchidophiles de Montréal
Société des Orchidophiles de Québec
Les Orchidophiles du Saguenay Lac St-Jean

Nova Scotia
Orchid Society of Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island

AOS Judging Centers
Pacific Northwest Judging Centre
Toronto Judging Centre
Montreal Judging Center

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COOS History

The Central Ontario Orchid Society was founded on May 26, 1985 when nine orchid growers met at a home in Kitchener to organize a local orchid society. Of the nine, only one could claim to be an experienced orchid grower, yet all were anxious to learn all about orchids. A name for the society was chosen. An executive was elected. Plans were made to draw up a constitution, publish a newsletter and find a meeting site, all to be done by September. The first Society meeting took place at the Kitchener Public Library and was attended by 17 amateur orchid growers.

We first exhibited that year at the Niagara show and had our own first show on April 25, 26 1986 at the Stone Road Mall in Guelph. At the end of that first year our membership had reached 54. In the following year we became an AOS affiliated society and achieved a membership of 98.