Exhibiting Rules for Ribbon Judging

Your plants are needed to enable the society to present the maximum floriferous display for the public’s viewing. Members are urged to enter all their blooming plants in the exhibit regardless whether the plants are eligible or not for ribbons—as determined by the following rules:


    • Plants entered for judging must have been owned by the member for at least six months.


    • Each plant must be named, i.e., show the genus, plus either the species or hybrid name or both parental names. Note: Sanders Lists of Orchid Hybrids will be available to assist in verifying a name or abbreviation or its spelling; some names vary by only one letter, e.g., C. Porcia and C. Portia. Plants incorrectly named or entered in the wrong section may not be judged. Plant entry clerks will be available to help. No ribbons may be awarded in a section if, in the judge’s opinion, no plant (s) are worthy. This, however, is a rarity.


    • Plants can be entered into one of three levels of judging: J1, novice or standard A.O.S judging format.


    • Plants which are not ineligible for a blue, red or white ribbon will be entered in a separate class/section J1. The best such plant will be selected for an ‘Honorable Mention’ designation.


    • Novice judging: growers who have won three or less blue ribbons at any orchid show may enter their plants in the novice category to compete with other novice growers. Instead of separate classes, as in the standard judging process each genus will be represented by only two categories—species or hybrids—regardless of color form. For example, all species cattleyas will compete with species cattleyas; all hybrid cattleyas with hybrid cattleyas. All denbrobium species with each other, all hybrid dendrobiums with each other. To enter novice categories use the entry card with the blue top on it. First place winners in each category will be then judged together for Best of Show---Novice Grower award. Growers who are novices may choose to enter standard judging instead if they prefer to compete with more advanced growers instead of novices. The novice award cannot be won more than twice by the same person, after two wins the exhibitor would join the general judging.


    • Plant entry cards must be completed for all plants in the exhibit. The completed bottom (detachable) portion of the entry card must be turned in to the plant entry clerks. For all plants, the ‘fold over’ portion should be folded behind the card, the card fitted into a trident and inserted into the plant. Care should be taken to enter your orchid(s) in the correct class (genus) and section (the numbered listings under each class). Inserted into the plant On the entry card ‘class’ also includes ‘section’ so that, e.g., C. Bob Betts, a white with a white lip, would be entered in Class A1; Cym. Ruby Eyes, an intermediate red, would be entered in Class C4.


    • A plant found to be infested or infected cannot be entered in the exhibit and should be removed immediately from all other plants. Check for scale, mealy bugs and ants.


    • Judging will be done by one or two American Orchid Society judges. Blue, red, white ribbons will be awarded to the best plants in each section, except J1. From these, the best plant in the exhibit will be selected and the owner will receive the Best of Show trophy, to be held for the year, plus an engraved, small silver plate which the member will retain permanently.


    • A plant may be entered in only one section in Classes A thru H, except that the same plantmay be entered in the first-blooming seedling section of its class, as well as Class 1.


    • A separate entry card must be filled out for each section entered. A meristem or stem-propagated plant may not be entered as a seedling.


    • Plants cannot be removed from the exhibit until after 4 pm on Sunday, at the end of the exhibit and sale.




Judging: Schedule of Classes


A.  Cattleya Alliance 

  1. Brassavola, Cattleya, Guarianthe, Laelia, Rhycholaelia and Sophronitis species.
  2. Hybrids - white or white with semi-alba lip of species in A1
  3. Hybrids – pink, lavender, purple, and blue
  4. Hybrids - green and yellow
  5. Hybrids - red, orange, salmon and brown Splash petal or peloric species or hybrid
  6. All other Cattleya Alliance species - Barkeria, Broughtonia, Epidendrum, Encyclia, Myrmecophila, etc.
  7. Hybrids - using genera from A1 with A6 or A7 such as Cattleytonia, Epicat, Dialaelia, etc.
  8. First bloom seedling


B.  Standard Cymbidium - flowers with a natural spread of 3.5 inches or more

  1. Species
  2. Hybrids - white, blush, cream, pink, rose and "feathered"
  3. Hybrids - yellow, orange and green
  4. Hybrids - red, bronze and brown
  5. Hybrids - stripes, spots and peloric patterns
  6. First bloom seedling


C. Intermediate Cymbidiums - flowers with a natural spread of less than 3.5 inches in the largest flower

  1. Species
  2. Hybrids - white, blush, cream, pink, rose, and "feathered"
  3. Hybrids - yellow, orange and green
  4. Hybrids - red, bronze and brown
  5. Hybrids - stripes, spots and peloric patterns
  6. Chinese and miniature species and hybrids (less than 1.25 inches and all colors)
  7. All other Cymbidium alliance species and hybrids - Ansellia, Bifrenaria, Maxillaria, Catasetum, Eulophiella, Grammatophylulum, Phaius, plus any crossed with a cymbidium.
  8. First bloom seedling 


D.  Dendrobium

  1. Phalaenopsis type - species and hybrids
  2. Eugenanthe ( nobili type) - species and hybrids
  3. All other sections - Calista, Dendrocoryne, Nigrohirsutae, Oxyglossum, Spatulata, and Latouria, Austrailian.
  4. Other species and hybrids - Dockrilla, Flickingeria
  5. First bloom seedling


E.  Oncidium/odontoglossum Alliance

  1. Oncidium species and hybrids
  2. Odontoglossum species and hybrids
  3. All other genera (Ada, Cochlioda, Brassia, Galeandra, Gomesa, Miltonia, Miltoniopsis, Rodriguezia) species and hybrids
  4. Hybrids of E1, E2 and E3,i.e., Odontocidium, Brassisium, Colmanara, Vuylstekeara,
  5. Burrageara, Miltassia, Wilsonara, etc.
  6. First bloom seedling 


F.  Cypripedium Alliance

  1. Paphiopedilum, Parvisepalum group (Armeniacum, Delenatii, Emersonii, Malipoense, Micranthum) species and hybrids
  2. Paphiopedilums - all other species
  3. Phragmipedium, Cypripedium, Selenipedium and Mexipedium hybrids
  4. Phragmipedium, Cypripedium, Selenipedium and Mexipedium species
  5. Paph. hybrids - vinicolor
  6. Paph. hybrids - yellow, green, tan
  7. Paph. hybrids - red, brown, mahogany
  8. Paph. hybrids - white, cream, pink
  9. First bloom seedling


G.  Phalaenopsis/Vanda Alliance

  1. Phalaenopsis, Doritis, Kingiella - species
  2. Hybrids - white with white or colored lip
  3. Hybrids - pink, lavender purple and blue
  4. Hybrids - green, yellow, red and art shades
  5. Hybrids - striped, spotted
  6. Hybrids - peloric forms
  7. Vanda, Ascocentrum - species
  8. Hybrids - Ascocenda
  9. Species - all other Vandaceous genera Aerides, Rhynchostylis, Renanthera, Neofinetia, Sarcochilus
  10. Hybrids - all other Vandaceous genera
  11. Hybrids - G1 X G7 or G9
  12. First bloom seedling


H.  Miscellaneous Genera

  1. Masdevallia, Dracula, Porroglossum etc. species and hybrids
  2. Angraecoids - species and hybrids and Aerangis
  3. Lycaste, Anguloa Maxillaria species and hybrids
  4. Zygopetalum group - species and hybrids (excluding H3)
  5. Hybrids - H3 and H4
  6. Bulbophyllum, Cirrhopetalum, Dendrochilum - species and hybrids
  7. Coelogyne, Pleione - species and hybrids
  8. Stanhopea, Gongora, Coryanthes, Stenia, etc. - species and hybrids
  9. Terrestrials - Disa., Calanthe, Epipactis, Habenaria, etc. species and hybrids
  10. Species and hybrids not found elsewhere
  11. First bloom seedling 


I.  Orchids Grown for Foliage

  • Jewel orchids - Anoectochilus, Goodyeara, Luidisia, Macodes, etc.
  • Cymbidiums, Paphiopedilums, etc. 


J.  Ineligible Plants (Honorable Mention)

  • Any unnamed, lost tag or not owned for six months plant.



The Napa Valley Orchid Society will host in April a Potting Party.  More information on this event can be found here.  


If you enjoy the splendor of orchids - consider becoming a member of the Napa Valley Orchid Society for only $20.00 per year and celebrate orchids with other admirers all year long!  Information on the society can be found here. No experience necessary!


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