History of the Memphis Orchid Society

The Memphis Orchid Society began as the Mid-South Orchid Society in 1955 with 39 charter members from Memphis, Arkansas, Mississippi and elsewhere in Tennessee. The first meeting took place at Memphis' Pink Palace Museum. Dues were just $3.50 per member and remained so for the next 20 years.

The society entered its first American Orchid Society-sanctioned show in 1974, winning a third-place ribbon. Two years later, the group's name was officially changed to The Memphis Orchid Society. At this time, the society launched its monthly newsletter and changed the meeting time from evenings to Sunday afternoons. The Goldsmith Room at the Memphis Botanic Garden became the regular meeting spot. With a few exceptions, the meetings continue to be held at the same time and location on the fourth Sunday of every month. (The annual Show and Sale takes the place of the meeting in May, and the holiday party serves as December's meeting.)

Since the first show in 1974, the society has entered exhibits in nearly 200 AOS-sanctioned events. We've received numerous AOS show trophies and Orchid Digest trophies in addition to many ribbons and trophies for exhibits and individual plants. Many members have also received AOS awards for their superb orchids. In 2012 the society set a record for the most AOS awards at a single show for the Atlanta region.

The society began hosting AOS-sanctioned shows in Memphis beginning in 1977. The first six shows took place in a bank building downtown, where the society also hosted the Mid-America Orchid Congress in 1982. Since 1985, shows have been staged at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Since 1993, shows have been held on the third weekend in May. (We hope to see you there!)

The Memphis Orchid Society operates under a constitution and by-laws originally written in 1977. It is a nonprofit organization with the stated purpose "to increase and disseminate the knowledge, appreciation, improvement, and conservation of orchids."

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