Dracuphilia: A Gothic Romance – Gary Meyer

Next Meeting: Monday, May 6, 2019

Dracula vampira (species) – Photo by Eric Hunt – CC BY-SA 3.0

As we charge enthusiastically into Spring, our last formal meeting of the season (except for the Picnic, of course, which isn’t formal at all…) will feature Gary Meyer, Ph.D, who will present “Dracuphilia: A Gothic Romance”. Gary will cover the history of the genus Dracula, the distribution of species, concepts in taxonomy and biology, and Gary’s orchid explorations in the wild. The talk will additionally delve into the often conflicting effects of human interest on orchid conservation.

Gary Meyer’s interest in orchids began when he was a freshman in high school in Michigan. Among his perennial garden plant collection were several Cypripedium species, which ignited his curiosity about orchids from other parts of the globe. He now maintains several hundred Dracula plants (along with a reasonable dose Masdevallias, Lepanthes, Cyrtochilums, and Anguloas) in his greenhouse in Pacifica, CA.

Gary has been travelling to Colombia and Ecuador since 2005 to observe Draculas in the wild and to visit collections of South American Dracula growers. He lives two to three months per year in Medellin, Colombia to facilitate his field explorations. Gary also put his scientific background to work on Dracula by studying the molecular taxonomy of the genus with Ken Cameron, Ph.D., director of the herbarium at the University of Wisconsin, and continues to describe new species and relocate lost species in conjunction with his South American colleagues.

By day, Gary is the Director of Clinical Analytics at IntrinsiQ Specialty Solutions. He is currently President of the Pleurothallid Alliance and owner of Colombian Orchid Imports, which imports orchid species from Colombia for sale in the United States.

We will be taking Gary out to dinner before the meeting – plans are not yet complete.

The Beginner’s Meeting will start at 6:00 p.m., the main meeting begins at 7:15pm.

Orchids 101 – May 6th, 2019

Topic: TBA. The Beginners’ Meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. in the Yiddish Center Room at the JCC.

Map to the JCC