The Illinois Orchid Society is a group of orchid enthusiasts that meet once a month to socialize and share orchid knowledge. Our society is 100% supported by the hard work of volunteers. We also fund orchid conservation and research.
We were founded in 1952. At various times in our past we have made our home at an office building in the Loop, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Morton Arboretum, Oakton Community College, and currently the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Broadly speaking, the Illinois Orchid Society does three things:
First, as individuals, we grow orchids. We do this primarily because we can't not grow orchids. You know the old saw ... the bad news is that growing orchids is an addiction; the good news is that medical science has no cure for it.
Second, collectively we put on orchid shows. We do this to edify ourselves and, to some extent, the general public. We need to show off our plants, to consider those of others, and to make comparisons.
Third. we come together in meetings to learn, to discuss orchid related issues and to enjoy each other's company. You've also heard the other old saw ... it's possible to grow orchids on your own, but not nearly as much fun as it should be.
In truth, we do a myriad of things. But they pretty much fit somewhere in those three categories. This site has plenty of pictures celebrating orchids. And plenty of pictures taken at orchid shows, including lots of pictures cheering on our people hard at work assembling exhibits.