Annual Symposium

The NOC annual symposium is the highlight of the year for many native orchid enthusiasts. This four day event was initiated in 2002 in North Carolina and has been held every year since.  Other venues have included: Alberta, California, Delaware, Florida, Manitoba, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ontario, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A typical symposium includes two days of lectures by well-known individuals who are highly respected in their field.  An overview of the history, culture, geology and natural history of the venue is included.  In addition, research topics, travelogues, conservation reports, taxonomic changes and other related subjects add to the interesting lecture line-up.  There are also two days of field-trips to nearby sites which have been staked-out by local NOC volunteers and students.  It is normal to see between ten and twenty species of orchids.  The symposium is timed to coincide with peak bloom times so most of the plants are in flower.  Photography opportunities abound.

A most enjoyable feature of the symposium is the chance to socialize with old friends as well as the opportunity to make new ones.  Many lasting friendships and professional relationships began at the annual symposium.  

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Olympic Peninsula Symposium Postponed

In early March it was announced that our much anticipated Olympic Peninsula Symposium has been postponed ... again. It was also noted that we would plan a series of virtual meetings and possibly a few mini field trips. We are pleased to announce the following:


Virtual meetings will begin on March 30 and will be held monthly thereafter (generally on the fourth Tuesday). Meetings will be conducted via Zoom starting at 6 PM Pacific time (9 PM Eastern time). You will receive additional information and login instructions one week prior, and a reminder one day prior, to the event.


Tentative Schedule-

            March 30

            My Three Decade Affair With the Ghost Orchid (see video below)

                        Mike Owen - Biologist, Florida Department of Environmental Protection


            April 27

            Orchids of the Plumas National Forest (see video below)

                        Linnea Hanson - President, Northern CA Botanists; USFS (retired); Secretary, NOC


            May 25

            Orchids of Madagascar

                        Rick Burian - World traveler; writer, NOC Director

            June 15 (Annual Meeting)

            Aggregated Pollen ... Why and Why Not?

                        Tatyana Livshultz, Ph.D. - Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences


            September 28

            Seed Collection and Germination of Platanthera dilatata

                        Doug Martin, Ph.D. - Case Grant Chair & Linnea Hanson


            October 26

            Protecting Cypripedium candidum and Platanthera leucophaea in Illinois

                        Cathy Bloome - Citizen Scientist; NOC member


            November 23

            Where is Newfoundland & Why Would a Botanist Go There Anyway?

                        Bob Sprague - Vice-president, NOC

In addition, several mini field trips are planned:

            Wagner Natural Area- Alberta, Canada with Ben Rostron

            Western Maryland with Doug Allen (July 27)     (waiting list)

            New Jersey Pine Barrens with Bob Sprague & Amy Levengood (July 28)     (waiting list)

            New Hampshire Quaking Bog with Jean Stefanik (July/August)

            Coastal Dunes- Eureka, CA with Chelsea Kieffer


Group size will be limited based on sensitivity of orchid sites, logistics, Covid considerations etc. and will be at the discretion of the leader who will also determine the exact date based on expected bloom time. Trip duration will vary based on leader & participant preference. Please contact us to indicate interest in the above field trips. 


We look forward to seeing everyone again... virtually, in the field or both !!

  My Three Decade Affair with the Ghost Orchid

Mike Owen 3/30/2021

 Orchids of the Plumas

Linnea Hanson 4/27/2021

  Orchids of Madagascar
Rick Burian 5/25/2021