Great Lakes judging 2/18

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Nov 14, 2022
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These three plants were entered for judging yesterday at the GLJC monthly judging.
The first one is posted for all of you who love full sized Classic Cattleyas. It is Rlc. Sachiko Tsugawa ‘Volcano Queen’. The clonal name is not important in terms of this discussion. This clone has not been awarded previously by the AOS.
The parentage is Rlc. Chia Lin x Rlc. Haruko Kanzeki. This hybrid has one AOS award to a clone ‘Kilauea’ which was an 85 point AM last August. That plant had 6 flowers on two inflorescences. The natural spread was listed as 14.1cm. x 15.0cm.! That is roughly a 6” flower. Imagine three of them?!
This flower/plant that I show you today was not awarded. Even though the lip on this clone is a wider and more open lip then ‘Kilauea’, and it measured slightly larger overall, we decided to “pass” on it. It was just a single flower! I realize that many of you might find that crazy or odd but when there is a previous award with multiple flowers and numerous awards on both sides of the cross with multiple flowers, a single flower is a serious problem.
Once in a while we see a plant with a single flower get a flower quality award but it is uncommon. The one noteable exception might be if the flower came to judging as a single cut flower. But that is not the case here. I will not speculate on why there is only one flower. I leave that to you.

The second image I posted is of a nice Bc. Binosa that came to the judging table. It did not go to my team so I have no idea as to why it did not get a cultural award maybe. I would have to research that.
The third image is of a plant labeled as Zygopetalum Debbie De Mello’Honolulu Baby’ x Agansia cyanea. It certainly is an intriguing hybrid. This too went to the other team.
Hope you all enjoyed seeing what is appearing currently on the Great Lakes judging table!!!
I greatly appreciate your discussion about the judging thought process. I have probably focused too much on the quality of the single flower for an HCC/AM/FCC. You are saying that there is consideration for the whole inflorescence as well. I have seen award discussions noting that the orientation of one flower or the crowding of flowers lowered the point total. What about the health/appearance of the growths themselves? What would happen if there were three of the 'Volcano Queen' flowers, nicely displayed, but the growths were disorganized and discolored - an ugly plant. Do the growths themselves only matter for CHM and CHE awards?
Flower quality awards are concentrating on the form, size and color of the flowers. If markings are present, they should be clear and crisp. Normally not much attention is paid to the vegetative qualities when it comes to a flower quality award.
But let me add, judges are not blind. We do notice some imperfections. We do notice things. If the growths are ugly, discolored and disorganized that could play into the overall quality of the flowers.
We care about the conditions of leaves and bulbs when it comes to cultural awards. CHM awards do reflect upon the overall condition of the plant. If for example there are several images posted on line in say the Orchid Wiz for example showing robust growth with nice flowers that does set a certain standard. So if we are contemplating a CHM for a fairly newly discovered species, we see it on the table before us. We see the vegetative health as well as the size, shape and number of flowers. Then we compare the plant before us to published on line images of this new species. If the one before us is obviously inferior to published pictures, that deficiency could prevent us awarding a CHM.
The exception to that is for a new color form of a species, take Maxillaria variabilis for example. For years the burgundy purple form was well known in orchid circles. Then suddenly a yellow form was discovered. Normally a species is entitled to only one CHM. The exception to that rule is for a different color form so in that case you can find multiple CHM’s to a species.

The crowding of flowers on an inflorescence or flowers that are missing or poorly formed are judged more harshly for “Habit and Arrangement” of the flowers on a spike.
The judging scoresheet has so many points for form, so many points for size and color and so many points for habit, arrangement, texture and substance. We have about 9 or 10 point scales that we use including a General Point Scale.
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