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San Diego County Orchid Society Celebrates 70th Birthday With Annual Show

A man judges orchids at the 70th annual San Diego County Orchid Society show at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley, March 11, 2016.
Tom Fudge
A man judges orchids at the 70th annual San Diego County Orchid Society show at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley, March 11, 2016.
Orchid Society Celebrates 70th Birthday With Annual Show

Orchids In Paradise

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino del Rio South, San Diego

Admission: $8 daily; $10 weekend pass

San Diego County Orchid Society member Pam Peters stood before a collection of judges for a primer on the morning competition.

"Remember that each plant belongs to someone," Peters said. "So keep your opinions on the positive side. Or state the negative in a nice manner."

Orchids, or at least their fragrance, was in the air at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley. It was the San Diego County Orchid Society's 70th annual show. The group dubbed it "Orchids in Paradise."

The Friday morning judging was the kick off of a three-day event. Society members judged 19 different categories of orchids, awarding ribbons for certain varieties and a prize for the best of show.

In one expansive room, orchids of brilliant color were spread out atop long tables. In another, vendors set up shop for Saturday and Sunday when the public is invited.

This corsage was on display at the San Diego County Orchid Society's show, March 11, 2016.
Tom Fudge
This corsage was on display at the San Diego County Orchid Society's show, March 11, 2016.

More than anything else, the show is a celebration of the orchid. Scott LaBouff is president of the San Diego County Orchid Society.

"Orchids are very specialized," LaBouff said. "They come from all over the world. They are in all different colors, shapes, sizes and aromas."

Also on display are the "orchid people" — like Kevin Rynearson, another member of the Orchid Society.

"We all speak orchid," Rynearson said. "You pick up a vernacular being around these people. You learn how to talk about the plants. They're great people. They just really want to share with you the beauty of orchids and how to grow them."

There are 30,000 species of orchids in the world and the Orchid Society is working to maintain the variety.

Ron Kaufman is head of the society's conservation committee. He said there will be many vendors selling plants and some of the money will go to protect orchid habitat.

"The conservation committee has a sales booth here and if they buy a plant from the conservation committee ... that money will go to fund conservation projects," Kaufman said.

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