Ron Kaufmann

Phone: 619-994-7584 Email:

SpecialtiesGeneral culture, Orchid travel, Brazil, Colombia, conservation
FormatOnline and in-person
Provides plants for sale?No


Ron Kaufmann is chair of the American Orchid Society Conservation Committee and a founding director of the Orchid Conservation Alliance. Ron has been growing orchids for more than 25 years and has travelled extensively to view orchids in the wild in Asia and South America, particularly Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia. Ron is a marine biologist by training, and his scientific work includes studies of Antarctic and deep-sea ecosystems as well as marine communities in coastal Southern California. His orchid collection began with a reedstem Epidendrum and progressed to a diverse assemblage that contains mostly species orchids. Ron has a long-standing interest in conservation. He joined the San Diego County Orchid Society’s Conservation Committee in 1999 and became chair in 2004. Since 1991, the Conservation Committee has awarded over $285,000 to support projects in 24 different countries. Ron also helped to found the Orchid Conservation Alliance and serves on the boards of the OCA, Orchid Digest, and Fundación EcoMinga (an Ecuadorian conservation organization). Most of Ron’s orchids are grown in a 36 x 24 foot greenhouse and several outdoor shade-covered areas around his house in San Diego. Friends have suggested that he build a second, much larger greenhouse to accommodate the many plants that often make walking through his greenhouse an exercise requiring extensive training in gymnastics and yoga to avoid serious injury. Thus far, this recommendation hasn’t been followed, although the temptation is always there.

Talks and Abstracts


101 Ways to Kill an Orchid

Common misconceptions about orchid culture and ways to become a better orchid grower

Cattleya eldorado: Searching for Gold in the Brazilian Amazon

Traveling to view Cattleya eldorado in the wild in the Brazilian Amazon

Conserving Orchids with the American Orchid Society

Focusing on how the AOS supports orchid conservation

Diamonds in the Rough

Traveling to find lithophytic Cattleyas in Bahia state, Brazil

Life on the Rocks: The World of Rupicolous Orchids

A presentation about orchids that grow lithophytically, focusing on Brazil

Orchid Travels in Ecuador

A tour of orchids in central Ecuador, with a visit to Ecuagenera

Orchids at the Beach

A presentation about orchids that grow in coastal sand flats in Brazil

Orchids of Tropical America

New World orchid diversity and orchid-related stories; based on the book that I co-authored with this same title

Searching for Orchids in Colombia

Explorations in SW Colombia, including a visit to Orquideas del Valle's nurseries.

South American Slipper Orchids

Phragmipediums and Selenipediums in Ecuador and Colombia