The Orchid Society of California (OSC), Inc. and You

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, horticultural organization striving to promote and maintain public and scientific interest in the research, preservation, development, and distribution of orchids in the world.

We bring together home and commercial growers in the San Francisco Bay Area who are interested in the culture and propagation of orchids.

Founded in 1937, we are the first and the oldest orchid society west of the Mississippi.

Orchid lovers like you are growing plants on windowsills, in greenhouses, indoor light gardens, and in the outside.

We publish a monthly newsletter. As a member, you’ll be among the first to find out about recently discovered species, the latest hybrids, and the latest culture techniques. Please join us to meet new friends who share your excitement in growing these wonderful plants. We look forward to sharing with you our experiences.

During our monthly meetings, the American Orchid Society (AOS) provides cultural sheets and judging events. You can see the outstanding species and hybrids being submitted for judging. We encourage you to submit your plants.

Please join us at a monthly meeting to meet new friends, listen to presentations, check out the great variety of orchids being displayed in our Show and Tell Table, purchase plants, or win them in the raffles.

Our meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at the Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Drive (by Lake Merritt), Oakland, California, at 7:30 PM; orchid entries for AOS judging are from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

Our Philosophy

The Orchid Society of California (OSC), Inc., is dedicated to the culture, protection, and appreciation of orchids all over the world. We are a diverse group of people who share an interest in the culture and propagation of orchids.

Our Society also serves an educational function in disseminating information about orchids to the public.

Our History

Founded in 1937 with 34 charter members, the OSC was the only orchid society West of the Mississippi River at that time. In 1938, the OSC joined with the Orchid Society of Southern California, established in that same year, to form the Orchid Digest Corporation. The early Orchid Digest magazines contained the Society’s communications and meeting notices.

OSC’s first meetings were held at the Montclair Women’s Club in Oakland. In 1941, the meetings were moved to the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, and remained there for the next 15 years. By the late 1940s, many OSC’s members were living across the bay in San Francisco and some proposed moving the Society to San Francisco, thus the San Francisco Orchid Society was formed. Oakland members opposed such a move, however.

OSC’s first Show and Dinner was held on October 23, 1951 at the Claremont Hotel and 243 members attended. Herb Hager, a renowned Phalaenopsis hybridizer, was the Society’s president.

On May 15, 1956, OSC’s meetings were moved to the Sailboat House in Lakeside Park in Oakland and remained there until 1975. In the January of 1976, the meetings were relocated to our current meeting site, the Lakeside Park Garden Center in Oakland.

One thing remains unchanged: Our love and passion for orchids. Please join us at our monthly meetings.

2016 Board Officers and Directors

President: Carl Carter

Vice President: Vacant

Secretary: Erin Dougherty

Treasurer: Helga Mahlmann

Membership: Musia Stagg

Directors: Patti Baugh and Mimi Rose

Past President: Paula Shiu

Other Volunteers

Hospitality: Heather Drobus

Newsletter Distribution: James Hand

Newsletter Editor: Susan Tasaki

Webmaster: Leo Chan

Plant Sales: Tommy Kam, Yuni Kam, and Jane Tsushima

Raffle Ticket Sales: Musia Stagg

Refreshments: Helga Mahlmann

Name tags, Design and Printing: Patti Baugh