A joint initiative between Phipps Conservatory and the Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania to create and cultivate an orchid collection of note for enjoyment, education and research.

September, 2020


Since 2011, Phipps and the OSWP, desiring to continue to work in collaboration to create a signature orchid collection with a public display space in the Frank Sarris Orchid Room and coinciding educational and display programs, have formally worked together on the initiative we call P-OSI.  (See above for mission statement.  Thanks to Nancy Kline for the acronym and Vicki Strod for the logo.)


Our goals include:


  • To encourage sharing and exchange of plant species, exhibits, scientific materials, publications and information of mutual interest with an aim to expanding the use, reach and value of both organizations. 

  • To work in cooperation to develop an orchid collection of national significance with special focus on Slipper Orchids or Cypripedioideae. Toward this goal, the parties agree to accessioning and de-accessioning to develop the collection economically, updating to continually improve the orchid culture

Our team leaders are studying the Phipps inventory provided by Katie Schuller, Phipps Orchid Manager, to suggest what might be “de-accessed” and provide ideas of other orchids in their respective groups that might improve the Phipps orchid collection. This is all being done digitally. We still cannot volunteer in person, as we usually do, for infection safety reasons.

Also, two articles on the Barbara Tisherman Slipper Orchid Collection (a Living Museum of Slipper Orchids) are being worked on with Katie’s help, for the winter issues of Slipper Orchids and also The Orchid Digest. The results of the cypripedium survey will be published as well.

Building and maintaining the BTSOC is an ongoing process, as it is for the entire Phipps orchid collection. It’s a great opportunity for us to help and also learn and an opportunity for Phipps to develop an orchid collection of “note.”

If you’d like to be a part of this phenomenal team effort, contact us! We’d love to have you for Pfun and P-OSI! It’s a wonderful learning experience for all of us, a great way to give back to the community and to help make Pittsburgh someplace even more special.


For more information, contact:

Nancy Kline

Demetria Marsh



© 2023 Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania

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