South Coast Orchid Society

Featured Speaker Profile:
Peter T. Lin
(January 28, 2019)


The orchid bug bit Peter Lin a long time ago. When he is surrounded by orchids — and that seems to be most of the time — he is always smiling. You will probably see him at all the big shows and sales throughout Southern California, and sometimes even farther afield (Japan!). Running a business (Diamond Orchids) wasn't enough to keep him busy. He has been an American Orchid Society judge for about 10 years, and is now the Chair of the Long Beach supplemental judging center that meets in the back room during our monthly meetings. He is also the current President of Orchid Digest Corporation, maintaining a long and distinguished tradition of excellence in orchid scholarship that began in California. We always look forward to his stimulating and entertaining programs at South Coast Orchid Society meetings, where he has been a featured speaker on many occasions since at least 2006.

Peter's topic on January 28, 2019 will be "Wild, Weird, and Wonderful Orchids". Every month someone brings in a blooming orchid we've never heard of, or at least have never seen. That's what keeps a lot of us hooked. The diversity of orchids is astounding. A lifetime wouldn't be long enough to enjoy them all. So, the obscure and unfamiliar deserve a program of their own! With his many years of experience studying and growing all sorts of orchids, Peter is ready to show us some of his favorite "not a household name" species.

While Peter has concentrated on breeding "mini-Catts", very small Cattleya-alliance hybrids with big flowers, his collection is full of specimens (and usually his hybrids) from every major group of orchids. To get an idea of his interests, you might look at his personal Facebook profile, or the Facebook page for Diamond Orchids. If that's not enough, the Diamond Orchids web site is full of information and pictures. But wait! — There's still more! He also has a Flickr site with hundreds more pictures. Along with the mini-Catts, there are plenty of unusual, surprising, and sometimes just strange species that have caught his attention.

Long Beach Judging Center during SCOS meeting
Our best kept secret!

Peter is an Accredited Judge in the AOS Pacific South Judging Region. He has served as a judge for over 10 years, and has been the Chair of the Long Beach Center within the Pacific South Judging Center for about 5. The judging center welcomes visitors. Be sure to take at look in the judging center during our meetings! Some of the best, and the most unusual orchids you will ever see have turned up there. There is a collection of photos and descriptions of the plants awarded at Long Beach beginning in 2010, Pacific South web site. Many of those plants were Peter's!

Part of Peter's collection is housed at Sunset Valley Orchids in Vista. When you visit Sunset Valley Orchids for one of their open house events (and the tacos!), you can usually find Peter at work in his collection. Be sure to say hello!

Vanda cristata


Vandoglossum Yawi's Taiwan Queen 'Diamond Orchids'

Chiloschista sweelimii 'Diamond Orchids'
It's leafless!

Here's a selection of what Peter has been working on. Some unusual specimens, some Vandaceous intergenerics, and of course those amazing mini-Catts. No wonder he's always smiling.

Gomesa colorata 'Diamond Orchids'

Holcoglossum flavescens x Vanda coerulescens

Sl. Tiny Star 'Jaclyn'

Elc. Golden Sunburst 'Exotic Orchids'

L. alaorii var. orlata

Schombovola Frances Fox 'Sunspots'

Slc. Richard Stone

Slc. Fuchsia Doll 'Diamond Orchids'


C. Hardyana coerulea 'Diamond Orchids'

It's not all mini's! Here's a blue sport of a classic primary hybrid, C. Hardyana (C. dowiana x warscewiczii). Perhaps a chance to cross it with a blue loddigesii to obtain a blue version of the long-lost C. Armstrongiae? There are always more hybrids! Anticipation of orchids!