Judging Orchids


I am becoming interested in my orchid hobby and would like some information about judging. Some of the shows I visit have not been judged and at others hobbyists have brought their plants for evaluation. I wonder whether you must be a member of the society that is sponsoring the show or if you have to be a member of the AOS to get your plants judged. Presumably there is a set of guidelines? -Matteo Sands

AOS Judging at the Redland International Orchid Festival. 2008. photo © 2008 Greg Allikas


Anyone can enter a plant for AOS judging at an AOS-judged show or at the monthly judging sessions held at various locations. The only requirement is that exhibitors agree to pay the appropriate award fees in a timely manner if their plants are fortunate enough to receive an award. Most societies welcome entries from anyone for their shows, providing the plants are free of disease and in place by the closing time for entries. Some societies may have special trophies or prizes restricted to members only but this is not common. At shows like your local Santa Barbara one each spring, there is no host society as such and all exhibitors are eligible for all trophies. Get involved with a local orchid group; seeing the show scene from the inside out is much more rewarding and you will benefit from the advice and fellowship. The guidelines and point scales for AOS judging are outined in the AOS Handbook on Judging and Exhibition. Information is also available right here and elsewhere on the website. If you are a member of the AOS, your April issue of Orchids is devoted to awards and judging and features an inside look at a regional judging session. - Greg Allikas