If you want to catch a bit of orchidmania, but don't know where to start, here are some good sources.

• The American Orchid Society offers a free "instant primer" on orchid basics and how to cultivate six popular genera. To get a copy of the AOS Membership Brochure, write the American Orchid Society, 16700 AOS Lane, Delray Beach, FL 33446-4351. You also can call the society, (561) 404-2000, or e-mail AOS@aos.org. Also, check out the AOS Web site, www.orchidweb.org

• The AOS offers an inexpensive guide to orchids, "Growing Orchids: A Cultural Handbook." The volume covers cultivation of popular orchid genera, growing areas, pests and diseases, nomenclature and more. A dictionary of less-common orchids describes 16 genera, from Anguloa to Zygopetalum. Color photographs illustrate specific hybrids and species and growing techniques. The society also publishes several magazines that provide valuable and updated information on orchids, including Orchids, Awards Quarterly and Lindleyana, which deals with scientific aspects of orchidology.

• Rebecca T. Northern's "Home Orchid Growing" is a popular, all-purpose orchid book for novice and experienced growers. The hardcover price is $50.

• A favorite orchid tome for many people is the "Taylor's Guide to Orchids," by Judy White. White dove into orchid culture and won a Quill & Trowel award for book writing. She offers culture and other orchid information in half of the book and presents a fully illustrated encyclopedia in the other half. The hardcover price is $24.

• The Oregon Orchid Society puts out a book called "Your First Orchids and How to Grow Them."

• The Sunset Empire Orchid Society meets the second Sunday of each month in the Columbia Memorial Hospital Meeting Room, Astoria. The meetings are from 2 to 4 p.m. Visitors are welcome. Membership is a yearly fee of $10.


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