On Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 7:30 PM, in the basement of the Los Altos Masonic Lodge (close to the elevator and the stairs), 146 Main Street, Los Altos, the De Anza Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society will feature a program by Judith Freeman on The Story Of Orienpets. Orienpets are hybrids which Judith Freeman developed to "combine the sublime beauty of Oriental lilies with the garden persistence, heat tolerance & color of the trumpets & Aurelian hybrids." They are particularly important because of their strength & hardiness, unique in that they have 4 sets of chromosomes instead of two. She can do a lot of Q & A with questions about lilies in general, hybridization, cultivation, etc. She will also bring lily bulbs, which have been chilled & are ready to plant. Judith Freeman, a Plant geneticist & hybridizer, began in tissue culture and "genetic engineering" over 40 years ago, before anyone had heard of it. She started as a hybridizer at Oregon Bulb Farms, and then began her own tissue culture lab for her company "The Lily Garden" in 1979. Since then, she has hybridized lilies for the garden, rather than the cut flower industry. She has lilies that don't have a strong smell (for hospital patients), lilies with sterile pollen which don't open & stain your tablecloth, and lilies for just their sheer beauty in the garden and the enjoyment of hummingbirds! She sells wholesale to White Flower Farm, among others. She is a speaker at International Horticulture Seminars & Conventions, has been Editor of the North American Lily Society Annual for many years and has collaborated with other geneticists all over the world. Recently having transferred some of the "heavy lifting" of daily operations to a new team, she continues busily in her lab, with her microscope & "test tube babies", hybridizing new lilies & helping to "clean up" older clones which have become infected with virus in the Netherlands- another area of her study. Admission is free. There is plenty of parking in the parking lot near the North (back) entrance of the Masonic Lodge, facing State Street, which can be seen on Google Maps in the area of 37°22'47.3"N 122°06'56.0"W. Information on the De Anza Chapter, and the rest of the American Rhododendron Society can be found at: http://www.deanza-ars.com https://www.rhododendron.org https://www.rhododendron.org/membership.htm To find out about Orienpets please come to our meeting.