Autre Vie: A Body of Work

Nina Rach, AOS Accredited Judge

Edited 26 April 2012

The Genus Stanhopea
The Genus Acineta
The Genus Cirrhaea
The Genus Embreea
The Genus Gongora
The Genus Houlletia
The Genus Kegeliella
The Genus Lacaena
The Genus Lueddemannia
The Genus Peristeria
The Genus Schlimia
The Genus Sievekingia
The Genus Soterosanthus


The Genus Corymborchis
The Genus Elleanthus
The Genus Fregea ?
The Genus Palmorchis
The Genus Sobralia


A Selection of my articles, online:

"Orchid Conservation Alliance Update," in: Houston Happenings, October 2010, p. 3.

"New US Orchid Stamps," in: Houston Happenings, September 2010, p. 7.

"Orchid Book Downloads," in: Houston Happenings, September 2010, p. 3.

"Help Save Rainforest with Tropicana Juices," in: Houston Happenings, July 2010, p. 4.

"Timber Press Print-on-Demand [out-of-print orchid books], in: Houston Happenings, April 2010, p. 5.

"Canada Releases New Orchid Stamps," in: Houston Happenings, March 2010, p. 5.

"Hawaiian, California shipments delayed by LBAM [light brown apple moth]," in: Houston Happenings, August 2007, p. 3.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll at Trinidad's "Golden Celebration" - TTOS 50th anniversary show, in: Houston Happenings, November 2006, p. 1.

"Orchids at the 2004 Philadelphia Flower Show," in: Houston Happenings, April 2004, p. 4.

"The Orchids of Madison County (Texas)," in: SWROGA NEWS, Fall/Winter 2003.

"Show Table: Judging in Venezuela," in: Orchids [AOS monthly magazine], January 2003, pp. 58-59, 72.

"Ancient Sands of Venezuela's Gran Sabana--Typically epiphytic orchids adapt to growing in a terrestrial environment," in: Orchids, June 2002, pp. 516-525.

An Orchid Trek in Venezuela's Gran Sabana [2002] - Part 1 - published in the Winter 2001 edition of SWROGA News.

An Orchid Trek in Venezuela's Gran Sabana [2002] - Part 2 - published in the Spring 2002 edition of SWROGA News.

Venezuelan Orchids [2001] - Handout for Shreveport Orchid Soc. talk.

"Colombian Orchid Shows," in: Houston Happenings, February 2002.

"The exciting new Phragmipedium kovachii," in: Houston Happenings, Sept 2002 [updated 2005]

"Terrestrial Orchids of the Philippines," published in: Proceedings of the HOS 2001 Summer Workshop, August 2001.

"An Introduction to Orchid Stamps," in: Houston Happenings; SWROGA News.

"Colors Within the Cattleya Alliance," in: Proceedings of the HOS 2000 Summer Workshop, August 2000.

"An Introduction to the Genus Disa," in: Houston Happenings, 2000.

"Orchids of the Dominican Republic," Houston Orchid Society, 1998 [updated 2005]

"Epipactis gigantea - Information and Cultural Notes." Handout for Houston Orchid Society meeting, 1998.

"Native Texas Orchids - Part 1," in: Houston Happenings, 1995.

"Native Texas Orchids - Part 2," in: Houston Happenings, 1995.

"Is Your Society an Island?," in: SWROGA News and San Diego County OS Newsletter

Lectures Available:

Orchids in Colombia's Cauca Valley - CaliOrquideas show, Armenia show, and field trips in November 2010 and Sept-Oct 2011.

The Genus Promanaea - A Brazilian genus of small-growing epiphytes with large, attractive, boldly marked flowers.

Exploring for Orchids in Brazil's Mata Atlantica Forests [2009] - Brassavola, Chytroglossa, Cleistes, Epidendrum, Grobya, Oceoclades, Promenaea, Sophronitis, Vanilla, Zygopetalum, and more

Stanhopeas and Allied Genera [1999-2012] - a favorite alliance, see The Stanhopea Pages

Sobralias! [2003-2012] - another favorite alliance, these brightly colored gems adorn plants that remain attractive year-round. See The Sobralia Pages

Orchids of Guatemala [2007-09] - Orchids from the cloud forests of Jalapa and Guatemala Departments; the western highlands near Lake Atitlan; the cool, wet Coban area; and the hot Peten jungle near Tikal. A wonderfully diverse and orchid-rich country. See a selection of my photos at The colors of Guatemala

Orchids of Ecuador [2004-09] - A showcase of orchids from four distinct areas: (1) volcanic calderas in the highlands north of Quito; (2) Napo River basin the Amazonas area in far northeastern Ecuador; (3) the Pastaza River valley east of Baños; (2) high-altitude cloud forest in and around Podocarpus National Park, southern Ecuador.

Reed-stem Epidendrum species and hybrids [2003-06] Oh-so-colorful; partial slide list

Venezuelan Orchids [2003] - Based on field trips in Oct 2000, March 2001, Sept.-Oct. 2001 and 2002, from east to west in this orchid-rich country; four AOS-judged shows in Caracas

Orchids of the Gran Sabana, Venezuela [2002] - great savannah field trip Oct 2001 through Canaima National Park - the largest national park in the world and home of tepuis, the Pemon indians, thousands of sobralias, and Cattleya jenmannii

Orchids in Eastern and Southern Africa [1989-1999] - based on 7 months of field work in 1986-87 and subsequent trips in 1990-1992 to Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, RSA, Swaziland

Pedilonum & Calyptrochilus Dendrobiums [1995-1999; 2004]

The Genus Eulophia: Habitat & Award History [1991-2002] - In situ photos, awarded species, and plants in culture

The Genus Arachnis and its Intergeneric Hybrids [1997]

Introduction to Orchid Judging and the AOS Judging System

Recent American Orchid Society Awards

Natl Parks and Public Orchid Gardens of Indonesia [1992-1998] - Java and Bali

Jewel Orchids and other Terrestrials [1988-1997; 2007] Photo of Anoectochilus chapaensis, Macodes petola, and Stenosarcos Vanguard (left to right)

An Introduction to Orchid Stamps [2005-2011] - a colorful hobby! Curated an orchid timeline and stamp exhibit at the US Botanic Garden in Washington DC, "Orchids: A Cultural Odyssey," January-April 2010

Nina Rach, 12/2001 You can contact me at

Photos at Flickr

2012 Speaking Engagements: (9)

8 January 2012 - Southeast Texas Orchid Society, Beaumont Botanical Garden [Stanhopeas]

18 February 2012 - Houston Judging Center, Judges' training "Taxonomic Research for Judges"

18 March 2012 - Oklahoma Orchid Society, Oklahoma City [Stanhopeas]

19 March 2012 - Red River Orchid Society, Wichita Falls, TX [Stanhopeas]

27 May 2012 - Manitoba Orchid Society, Winnipeg, Canada [Stanhopeas]

10 June 2012 - Tulsa Orchid Society [Sobralias]

19 June 2012 - Oregon Orchid Society, Portland [Stanhopeas & related genera]

3 July 2012 - Heart O' Texas Orchid Society, Austin, Texas [Stanhopeas]

7 October 2012 - South Florida Orchid Society Speakers' Day, University of Miami, held in conjunction with the SFOS Show, Oct 5-7, 2012.

2011 Speaking Engagements: (6)
6 January 2011 - Houston Orchid Society [Orchids in Colombia's Cauca Valley]

3 February 2011 - Asociación Guatemalteca de Orquideología, AGO, IV Exposicion Centroamericana de Orquideas, Hotel Vista Real, Guatemala City, [The Genus Sobralia] - in conjunction with XXXVII National Orchid Exposition.

15 February 2011 - New Orleans Orchid Society [Orchids in Colombia's Cauca Valley]

21 March 2011 - National Capitol Orchid Society, National Arboretum, Washington DC [The Genus Stanhopea]

6 August 2011 - Houston Orchid Society 32nd Summer Workshop, University of St. Thomas [Orchids of the Philippines]

11 September 2011 - Wisconsin Orchid Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin [Stanhopeas]

2010 Speaking Engagements: [9]

29 January 2010 -- US Botanic Garden, Washington, DC [Orchids of Brazil's Mata Atlantica forests]

13 February 2010 -- Orchid Growers of Hawai'i (OGOH), Hilo [Commercial orchid growing in the Netherlands and Brazil]

13 February 2010 -- Hilo Orchid Society [Culture session on growing Stanhopeas; The Genus Sobralia]

16 February 2010 -- Maui Orchid Society [Growing Sobralias]

20 February 2010 -- Houston Judging Center [Cattleya warscewiczii]

1 April 2010 - Houston Orchid Society [Designing exhibits and preparing plants for show]

5 Sept 2010 - Tip of Texas Orchid Society, Valley Nature Center, Weslaco [Stanhopeas]

19 Sept 2010 - Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania, Phipps Garden Center, Pittsburgh [Stanhopeas]

19 Nov 2010 - Asociación Vallecaucana de Orquidelogia, CaliOrquideas 2010 Mini Symposium, Vivero Las Mañanitas, Cali, Colombia [Stanhopeas]

2009 Speaking Engagements: [11]

5 April 2009 -- Greater North Texas Orchid Society, Dallas [Orchids from Brazil's Mata Atlantica Forests]

6 April 2009 -- Fort Worth Orchid Society [Orchids from Brazil's Mata Atlantica Forests]

7 April 2009 -- Heart O' Texas Orchid Society [Stanhopeas]

24 April 2009 -- Houston Orchid Society/AOS Spring Meeting [Stanhopeas]

11 May 2009 -- Triangle Orchid Society, Durham, NC [Brazil's Mata Atlantica]

12 May 2009 -- Sandhills OS, Fayetteville, NC [Brazil's Mata Atlantica]

13 May 2009 -- Cape Fear Orchid Society, Wilmington, North Carolina [Brazil's Mata Atlantica]

16 May 2009 -- Houston Judging Center, AOS Judges' Training [Cattleya intermedia and its color varieties]

18 July 2009 -- Houston Judging Center, AOS Judges' Training [Judging Abroad]

17 August 2009 -- Coalition of Orchid Species, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Coral Gables, FL [Sobralia species and culture]

18 August 2009 -- Pan American Orchid Society, Pinecrest, FL [Orchids in Brazil's Mata Atlantica Forests]

2008 Speaking Engagements: [9]

23 January 2008 -- 19th World Orchid Conference, Miami [ The Genus Stanhopea]

7 February 2008 -- Houston Orchid Society [Orchids of Guatemala]

11 February 2008 -- Utah Orchid Society, Salt Lake City [Orchids of Guatemala]

12 February 2008 -- Denver Orchid Society [Orchids of Guatemala]

16 February 2008 -- Houston Judging Center Workshop [Judging Stanhopeas]

13 March 2008 -- Orquidófilos Asociados do Rio de Janeiro (OrquidaRIO), Rio de Janeiro [Géneros Sobralia e Stanhopea]

19 October 2008 -- Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri [Orchids of Ecuador]

21 October 2008 -- Malibu Orchid Society, Pacific Palisades, Calif. [Orchids of Guatemala]

20 December 2008 -- Houston Judging Center, AOS Judges' Training [The Genus Promenaea]

2007 Speaking Engagements: [4]

5 March 2007 -- Fort Worth OS [Jewel Orchids]

17 March 2007 -- Houston Judging Center, Judges' Training [The Award of Distinction, AD/AOS]

19 April 2007 -- Central Ohio Orchid Society, Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus [Sobralias]

21 October 2007 -- Virginia Orchid Society, Richmond [Stanhopeas]

2006 Speaking Engagements: [10]

6 Jan 2006 -- Greater North Texas OS, Dallas [Stanhopeas]
8 Jan 2006 -- Tulsa OS, Oklahoma [Gran Sabana, VZ]
12 Feb 2006 -- Coastal Carolina OS, Charleston, South Carolina [Stanhopeas]
20 Feb 2006 -- Coalition for Orchid Species (COS) meeting, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Coral Gables, FL [Sobralias]
21 Feb 2006 -- Pan American Orchid Society, Pinecrest, FL [Stanhopeas]
19 April 2006 -- OS of Southern Arizona, Tucson [Reed-stem Epidendrums]
20 April 2006 -- Desert Valley OS, Phoenix, AZ [Reed-stem Epidendrums]
1 June 2006 -- Guatemalan Orchid Association (AGO) Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala City [Sobralias]
15 July 2006 -- Houston Judging Center, Judges' training [Judging Stanhopeas]
5 Aug 2006 -- Houston Summer Orchid Workshop [Reed-stem Epidendrums]

2005 Speaking Engagements: [7]

10 Jan 2005 -- Galveston OS [Orchids of Ecuador]
7 April 2005 -- Houston OS [Sobralias]
10 April 2005 -- Oklahoma OS (Oklahoma City) [Orchid Stamps]
11 April 2005 -- Utah OS (Salt Lake City) [Orchids of Venezuela]
20 July 2005 -- South Florida OS (Miami) [Orchids of Ecuador]
29 July 2005 -- Alamo OS (San Antonio) [Orchids of the Gran Sabana]
20 Sept 2005 -- Malibu OS (Pacific Palisades, CA) [Sobralias]
2004 Speaking Engagements: [10]
6 Jan 2004 -- Houston Orchid Society [Stanhopeas]
12 Jan 2004 -- Atlanta Orchid Society [Stanhopeas]
13 June 2004 -- OS of Greater Kansas City [Stanhopeas]
21 July 2004 -- OS of Southern Arizona (Tuscon) [Stanhopeas]
22 July 2004 -- Desert Valley OS (Tempe, AZ) [Orchids of Venezuela]
7 August 2004 -- Houston OS Summer Workshop [Orchids of Ecuador]
7 Sept 2004 -- San Francisco Orchid Society [Stanhopeas]
18 Sept 2004 -- Mid-America Orchid Congress, Nashville [Orchids of Ecuador]
14 Nov 2004 -- Shreveport Orchid Society [Sobralias]
20 Nov 2004 -- Orchid Society of Minnesota [Sobralias]

Pre-2004 speaking engagements:

Alamo OS (San Antonio, TX) [twice, most recently Nov. 2003]
Asociaci�n Guatemalteca de Orquideolog�a, AGO, (Guatemala City), 2006 [Sobralias]
Batavia OS (Chicago area), March 2003 [Orchids of Venezuela]
Baton Rouge OS (LA)
Brazos Valley Orchid Club (College Station, TX), 2003 [Orchid Judging]

Cape OS (Cape Town, RSA)
Cape Fear OS (Wilmington, NC)
Coalition for Orchid Species (Coral Gables, FL), March 2002 [Stanhopeas]
Denver OS [twice, most recently 2003]

Eastern Province OS (Port Elizabeth, RSA)
Fort Worth Orchid Society (TX) [twice, most recently 2003 - Stanhopeas]
Galveston OS (Texas City, TX) [several; Venezuela, Ecuador]
Greater North Texas OS (Dallas) [3x]
Heart O' Texas OS (Austin, TX; several)

Houston OS - meetings & Workshops
7th IBTA Conference (Kingston, Ontario)
Massachusetts OS (Elm Bank, Wellesley) [Stanhopeas]
Mid-America Orchid Congress (Louisville, KY, Aug. 2003) [Stanhopeas; Sobralias]
Miranda OS (Sociedad Orquideas Estado Miranda, Caracas, Venezuela), Sept. 2002 [Stanhopeas]

Natal OS (Durban, RSA)
National Capitol OS (Wash. DC) [2003: Sobralias]
NFPS (National Fauna Preservation Society, Blantyre, Malawi), 10 Nov 1986
New Orleans OS (LA) [twice, most recently Sept 2002]

North West Orchid Society (Seattle), 10 Nov 2003 [Stanhopeas]
Piedmont OS (Charlotte, NC), Feb. 2003
Sandhills OS (Southern Pines-Fayetteville, NC), Feb. 2003
Shreveport OS (LA), twice [2004: Sobralias]
South Florida OS (Miami), July 2003
Southeast Texas OS (Tyrell Park, Beaumont), 2003 [Big Thicket orchids]

Utah OS (Salt Lake City) [twice, most recently 2003]
Triad OS (Greensboro, NC), Feb. 2003
Triangle OS (Raleigh, NC) [twice, most recently 2003]
16th World Orchid Conference, 1999, Computer Panel Discussion (Vancouver)

AOS Awards: [HJC=Houston Judging Center]

Phal. Malaya 'Mem. David Rach', AM/AOS 80 pts (Grace Palm x amabilis, reg. 1964) -- March 1996, Galveston OS Show [AQ 28/122P]

Liparis tricallosa 'Autre Vie' CHM/AOS 81 pts -- 26 Feb. 2000, Alamo Judging Center; award photo by Patsy Webster [AQ 31(4)/275]

Dendrobium tobaense 'Autre Vie' HCC/AOS 76 pts -- 14 Oct. 2000, HJC; the award photo, by Charlotte Randolph, was chosen to illustrate December of the upcoming 2003 AOS Orchid Calendar! [AQ 32(2)/73P-color on 88]

Catasetum Jumbo Eagle 'Linda Livesay' HCC/AOS 79 pts (sanguineum 'E.T. x expansum 'Jumbo') -- 18 Aug. 2001, HJC; award photo by Nina Rach [AQ 33(1)/8]

Gongora aromatica 'Autre Vie' HCC/AOS 76 pts -- 16 Feb. 2002, HJC; award photo by Charlotte Randolph

Mormodes tigrina 'Autre Vie' CBR/AOS (OIC #13499) -- 20 April 2002, HJC
[this award nullified in June 2002 due to a CBR being given elsewhere]

Stanhopea Assidensis 'Autre Vie' HCC/AOS 79 pts (tigrina x wardii) -- 15 June 2002, HJC; award photo by Charlotte Randolph

Trichosalpinx orbicularis 'Autre Vie' CBR/AOS (OIC #13703) -- 12 July 2002, Baton Rouge OS Show; award photo by Ronnie Kennedy.
"Diminuitive 12 cm tall plant with 12 growths growing in a 6 cm pot; 3 inflorescences borne from the leaf axes; dorsal sepals dark rose apically, chartreuse basally, lateral sepals dark rose; petals chartreuse; lip hinged, burgundy; substance firm, texture crystalline. Native of Costa Rica. Recognized for educational value, rarity, novelty and charm."

Coryhopea Off the Wall 'Le Balzak' HCC/AOS 78 pts (Stanhopea wardii x Coryanthes macrantha) -- 17 August 2002, HJC; award photo by Charlotte Randolph.

Stanhopea florida 'Miguel's Gift' HCC/AOS 75 pts (OIC #______) -- 20 Sept. 2003, HJC; award photo by Charlotte Randolph.
Beige form, Ecuador.

Stelis nanegalensis Lindl. 'Autre Vie' CBR/AOS, identified by C.A. Luer --- 17 January 2004, HJC; award photo by Theresa M. Riggs. [initially awarded as S. costaricensis]

Zygolum Louisendorf 'Rhein Harlekin' AM/AOS 80 pts (Zygosepalum labiosum x Zygopetalum Artur Elle) -- 18 March 2006, HJC; award photo by Theresa Riggs.

Paph. Annabellchen 'Autre Vie' HCC/AOS 77 pts, (liemianum x delenatii), 4 August 2006, Houston Orchid Society Summer Workshop; award photo by Theresa Riggs.

Sarcoglottis sceptrodes 'Autre Vie' HCC/AOS 79 pts, 28 March 2009, Alamo Judging Center, San Antonio, Texas. AOS Award# 200-92107.
"Sixteen apple-green flowers evenly arranged on two 44-cm inflorescences; dorsal sepal, petals positioned over column; DS darker green veined centrally; lateral sepasl flat, held forward horizontally, faintly veined; petals veined dark green; lip spathulate, veined darker green; column cream-color, anther cap charcoal grey; substance firm, texture waxy."

Coryhopea Cutucu 'Autre Vie' AM/AOS 82 pts (Coryanthes speciosa x Stanhopea florida) -- 20 June 2009, HJC. AOS award #200-97396.
"Three flowers on one pendant inflorescence; sepals and petals recurved, golden yellow, finely stippled mahogany; lip hypochile clawed basally, apricot stippled mahogany internally; column green cetrally wings translucent ivory stippled mahogany; substance firm, texture glossy; strong spicy fragrance."

Promanaea Chameleon 'Autre Vie' AM/AOS 80 pts (Limelight x guttata) -- 20 June 2009, HJC. AOS award #200-97397.
"Five flat, light chartreuse flowers on five short, pendent inflorescences; sepals and petals have well-defined concentric mahogany bars, darker basally; lip yellow, concentric mahogany bars and spots almost solid basally; column chartreuse; substance good, texture matte."

Dendrobium aberrans 'Autre Vie's Angel' HCC/AOS 76 pts -- 19 Dec 2009 HJC. AOS award #200-97387.
"Sixteen flat flowers and 39 buds on 14 inflorescences; sepals and petals paper white, blushed pink centrally; keeled lip dominant, tri-lobed, paper white, midlobe heavily notched; substance firm; texture light crystalline.
Photo in: Houston Happenings, January 2010.

Stanhopea frymirei 'Autre Vie' HCC/AOS 79 pts [provisional] -- 21 Aug 2010 HJC. AOS award #20106426.

Dendrobium macrophyllum var. compactum 'Autre Vie's Christmas' CHM/AOS 82 pts [provisional] -- 17 Dec 2011 HJC.

Where have I judged?
Canada, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Trinidad, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Scotland, Indonesia, New Zealand

Where have I gone to photograph orchids?
North America, Central America, South America, Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands