About the American Orchid Society
The availability and cultivation of orchids has changed dramatically since the early years of the twentieth century.
Today, in part because of the activities of the AOS, orchids are popular houseplants that are available to anyone.
Right on the heels of European “Orchidmania”, orchids were still exotic plants that could only be grown by a few,
privileged enough to have the means and knowledge to succeed with these tropical rarities. On April 7, 1921, a
group of thirty-five men and one woman met in the Treasurer’s Room of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society to
hear a reading of the proposed constitution, bylaws and slate of officers for the newly formed American Orchid
Society. The original bylaws sought to allow for importation of orchids, encourage a membership of amateurs as
well as professionals, organize orchid exhibitions nationwide, issue orchid related publications and create a
system for awarding orchids of superior quality. The goals of the American Orchid Society are still based on those
set forth by our founders and have continued to expand and evolve to meet the needs of a changing world.
An organization is only as good as its members and the AOS is deeply indebted to the many talented and
dedicated volunteers who have made valuable contributions to one of the most vital horticultural institutions in the
world. From the members of the founders meeting in 1921 to today’s AOS trustees and officers, all have offered
their time and service out of a love for the plants that bring us together. John Lager, George Baldwin, Thomas
Roland, Oakes Ames, Oliver Lines, and the first president, Albert C. Burrage, could not have foreseen the day of
mass marketed orchids, yet they no doubt would have been pleased with the popularity that orchids have reached.
The American Orchid Society is more than just a flower club. Throughout its 85-year history the AOS, in keeping
with its vision and mission, has strived to bring our members timely and state-of-the-art orchid information, support
basic and applied research in orchids, and monitor and support conservation effort both here in North America as
well as throughout the World.
Conservation of orchid species and their habitats has been a cornerstone of the AOS since our founding in 1921.
Through its members and staff, the Society plays a major role in the formulation of world orchid conservation
opinion and policies. By working to save orchids and their habitats here and abroad, we preserve their beauty and
important role in the planet's ecosystem.
The AOS Conservation Committee serves as a communication point for conservation-related news and
information. Its members are often those who are called upon for expertise in matters relating to orchid
conservation. The AOS's publications are in the forefront of communicating conservation-related news, particularly
on CITES issues as well as import and export-related items. AOS Staff and Conservation Committee members
have also played an increasingly important role as liaison with United States federal agencies, such as USDA and
USFWS, in communicating the opinions of the orchid community.
The AOS and the OAP
The American Orchid Society (AOS) entered into a long-term collaborative effort with artist, Patricia Laspino and
Andrew Laspino, called the Orchid Alliance Project –Bridging Art & Science (OAP) whose charter is, in part,
heightening the awareness of orchids and their critical position in our planet’s ecology. The AOS envisions the OAP
as a significant and important part of its outreach efforts. Both organizations similar mission statements form a
unique synergy allowing for the creation of extraordinary artistic and scientific possibilities.
AMERICAN ORCHID SOCIETY
at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Ron McHatton - Chief Operating Officer & Director of Education
10901 Old Cutler Road
Coral Gables, FL 33156
|THE ORCHID ALLIANCE PROJECT
|THE ORCHID ALLIANCE PROJECT