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.

July, 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.

In the past several years, through amazing teamwork within the OSWP and with Phipps, we have taken an inventory and updated it (huge efforts), continuously improved orchid culture, helped with accessioning and de-accessioning orchids in the collection improving the quality and importance of the collection, and, established the Barbara Tisherman Slipper Orchid Collection of Phipps Conservatory, a “Living Museum of Slipper Orchids” at Phipps, which has attracted international note.


While we have been on hiatus for several months, soon we will be back to work.


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.

The Barbara Tisherman Slippper Orchid Collection at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (BTSOC) in Pittsburgh, PA, was established in 2012 as part of the development of the Phipps-Orchid Society Initiative (P-OSI).  P-OSI is a formal partnership between Phipps  and the Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania, whose mission is to build and maintain a “signature” orchid collection as a whole, as well as to build and maintain the Barbara Tisheman Slipper Orchid Collection.


The mission of the BTSOC is to build a living museum of Slipper Orchids.  The purpose is to have a place (Phipps Conservatory) where orchid enthusiasts and experts, as well as the general public, can see all the Slipper species as well as the important Slipper hybrids, for enjoyment, education and research.


Phipps was designated as the Slipper Orchid Repository by the North American Plant Collections Consortium (now the Plant Collections Network) thru a rigorous application process and onsite visit.


In order to accomplish this, a Paphiopediulum Historic Hybrid Survey was completed and from that came the BTSOC Paph Hybrid Wish List.   (See Complete Historic Paph Survey, Top Picks Paph Survey and BTSOC Paph and Phrag Wish List.)

Next came the Phragmipedium Historic Hybrid Survey and from that came the BTSOC Phrag Wish List.   (See Complete Results Historic Phrag Survey, Top Picks Phrag Survey and BTSOC Paph and Phrag Wish List.)

The Cypripedium Historic Hybrid Survey has just been completed, and there is now a BTSOC Cyp Wish List.  (See Complete Results Historic Cyp Survey, hybrids and species and BTSOC Cyp Wish List)

The Wish Lists have been updated as species and hybrids have been acquired in the collection by purchase or donation.


For more information, contact:

Nancy Kline

Demetria Marsh



© 2023 Orchid Society of Western Pennsylvania

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