2/19-20 — Gardena Cymbidium Show

Feb. 19 -20 — The South Bay hobbyist group Gardena Cymbidium Club (GCC) is hosting its 24th annual Cymbidium Orchid Show at the Nakaoka Memorial Community Center, 1670 W. 162nd St., Gardena, on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19-20. The event will be co-sponsored by the City of Gardena’s Recreation Division.

From left, Kay Okamoto, Jose Avila, Ken Fukuhara, and Don Onishi at last year's Cymbidium Orchid Show held at the Nakaoka Memorial Community Center. (RYOKO OHNISHI)

Over 300 hybridized cymbidium plants, grown primarily by club members, will be on exhibit.
The GCC was originally formed in 1985 by a group of cymbidium enthusiasts, primarily Japanese,to perpetuate the cultivation and presentation of cymbidium orchids. Today, most orchid shows charge entrance fees, but the GCC has been open to the public for free since it started.

For the show, judges from an internationally graded association of the Cymbidium Society of America (CSA) will evaluate the members’ plants. The award-winning plants will be displayed after 12 p.m. on Saturday.

The show will run on Saturday until 5 p.m. and on Sunday until 4 p.m. One of the most popular events, the plant sale, will begin on Saturday at 10 a.m. Usually, buyers will form lines before it opens. Dividing and potting demonstrations will be held in the auditorium in English on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m. The lecture will be given by Gary Kennell, the president of the GCC.

The plant sale will include various types of cymbidium, such as pendulous, miniature, cascading and cattleya. Not only the blooming plants but also corsages and supplies will be sold.

The cymbidium takes about five to seven years to have the first bloom after it is pollinated. Most of the orchids are pollinated and cultivated by the members. The growers do not know how the flower will look until it blooms. Members also name the plants after someone whom they adore or love, or simply keep the original name if they got the plants from others.

The late instructor Michiaki Kawano used to say that growing orchids gives life to the growers, and that it is so exciting since all the efforts you have put into it will be reflected in the blooms.
Since cymbidiums are grown outside of the house, the weather will be the one of the most influential elements for the quality of the bloom. The members try to get the best bloom during the time when the judges are evaluating the plants. The plants have to have the best shape, color and number of flower to receive an award.

Member Ken Fukuhara said, “We had so much rain last December and the weather has been very unstable. We had extremely warm days in January and now it is getting cold again. My plants do not look good this year, but we will see.”

The club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Nakaoka Center from 7 to 9 p.m. Meetings consist of lectures on the care of plants (in Japanese and English), plant raffles, and orchid exhibits.
For more information about the show and club activities, contact James Umemoto at (310) 326-3730, or the Recreation Division at (310) 217-9537.