top of page

Tampa Orchid Club April 2024 Meeting Highlights

Updated: 3 days ago

The Tampa Orchid Club had it's monthly meeting this past April 23rd. It was a very well attended gathering featuring a presentation from Jim Davison with Jim-N-I Orchids from Homestead, FL. In addition to the presentation, Jim and Melana Davison had a fantastic orchid selection for sale.

Tampa Orchid Club Presentation on Catasetinae

Melana started out by reminding us that she and Jim grow their own orchids in Florida, they are not importers, so their plants are of high and assured quality. They buy flasks from Fred Clarke, their long-time acclaimed grower friend from their orchid-growing beginnings in California. Jim and Melana's orchids are grown in shade houses, so the transition for most of us who grow our orchids outside should not be a shock to the plant.


Jim gave a brief background on the Catasetinae subtribe, which includes eight genera, four of which he discussed.

  • Catasetum

  • Cycnoches

  • Mormodes

  • Clowesia.  

These are among the most primitive genera of orchids, like dinosaurs, before Pangaea, therefore they are highly evolved. The common ancestry of African and Asian plants make them great hybrids with each other. These orchids can produce both male and female flowers on the same spike (bimorphism) causing taxonomists to originally think there were two different types.  The male flower lasts only as long as it takes to eject its pollen, and the female lasts a longer time in order to receive the pollen. 

Jim Davison speaking at the April Tampa ORchid Club meeting


Catasetinae Are Deciduous

Leaves drop off in the fall when it is cool and dry, and they put out new growth in wet and warm spring, which is now!  So feed and water your Catasetinae like a teenage boy (nine-month time release, 15-5-15, and calcium) during this rapid growth period, which the plants perceive as their ancestral monsoon season. But don't start any of that before the new growth emerging from the dormant winter rest is about 5-7 inches tall and new roots have reached the medium. Repot in a small pot large enough for the root ball with high-quality New Zealand sphagnum before dormancy has finished. Should last 3 years.  


This genus "likes light like a Cattleya and water like a Vanda".


The typical pests are chewers: caterpillars, grasshoppers, spider mites, and snails.  Check under the leaves. Use insecticidal soap and preventive miticide.


There are many hybrid possibilities with these four Catasetinae genera with  Fredclarkeara(Fdk) as the most popular produced by breeding  Catasetum,  Clowesia and Mormodes in a 3 way cross.  Got one?  If not, they brought many with them as well as other types of orchids, but many of us brought one of these genera or their hybrids home.

April Tampa Orchid Club Meeting

We hope to see you at the May 28th installation luncheon. See the website for meeting details:



bottom of page