CYMBIDIUM:  How a Lad Struck by the Beauty of a Cymbidium Came to Win Cymbidium Exhibitions

The year is 1942 and a 12 year old boy named Roy is bitten by the orchid bug. His father, noting his enthusiasm, constructed a small greenhouse in their backyard. Within a few months, orchid plants from local nurseries and from South America filled the tiny greenhouse. A neighbor who grew orchids also noticed the enthusiasm of the teenager and recommended him for membership in the American Orchids Society. At that time, in order to become a member of this prestigious society one had to be sponsored by an active member. This, of course, has changed and membership is now open to everyone. Even though this young boy remained active in studies, sports and music, he found time to visit the Evans and Reeves Nursery in Brentwood, California where a very kind Scottish grower taught him the art of growing orchids – particularly the cymbidium variety. His first experience of cymbidium orchids was the large mounds of species cymbidiums at this nursery. Even though the flowers were rather drab in color, the wonderful fragrance of these majestic sprays was awe inspiring.

The War and Cymbidium Orchid History

England led the world in the growing and hybridizing orchids from the jungle. Because of World War II, the bombing and fuel shortages threatened the demise of these priceless orchid plants growing in the glass houses of the wealthy. Samuel B. Mosher, the president and owner of Signal Oil co. in Southern California saved many collections of the fine cymbidium plants in England by purchasing and importing them to his beautiful greenhouse facility near Santa Barbara. He immediately began hybridizing these new cymbidiums thus creating the path to the fantastic cymbidium plants and flowers of the modern day hybrids.

Cymbidium Orchids Find A New World Home

Santa Barbara became the center of cymbidium orchid culture in the 1940’s. Gradually, plants from Santa Barbara found their way back to England, and to Australia, New Zealand, France and Holland. A few decades later after 12 years of medical training and medical practice, I purchased a cymbidium plant that was far superior to the ones I remembered as a teenager. This first plant was a Valentine present for Frae, my lovely new wife. I recalled the cost of a single cymbidium back bulb costing hundreds of dollars in the 40’s yet I had to pay only $6.95 for this much prettier cymbidium already in flower. This was the beginning of Sequoia Orchids. Since that time, Frae and I have produced exceptional cut flowers, exciting new hybrids, container plants of cymbidiums and now “liner” cymbidium plants. Our greenhouses have expanded to 120,000 sq. ft. including a modern, tissue culture laboratory.

Sequoia Orchids Hybrid Cymbidium Orchids Make History

Our first entry in to the world of Orchid competition at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show won an award. The following year our entry of a single spray of cymbidium flowers won “Grand Champion” of the show and a Gold Medal from the Cymbidium Society of America. Over the next several years Sequoia Orchids entered several very colorful exhibits in the show. The orchids in our exhibits won many awards and our exhibits also won many awards. Our success in the world of orchid exhibition so inspired us, that we started a commercial venture that eventually resulted in our present large production facility.

The hybrid cymbidiums we how have in production have far exceeded our wildest dreams. Every year we are seeing new varieties and colors that are truly astounding. Selected clones of these new hybrids will continue to appear on our Web Site. We are very pleased to share these beautiful orchids plants with you.


Online Store Coming Soon!
Our store will serve both the retail and wholesale customers.

New Orchid & Redwood Products
New Orchid & Redwood products are in the process of being developed for distribution.


Toll Free:1-866-767-2443
Tel: 707.725.5020
Fax: 707.725.6985