Nicholas Rust to Speak at June 1 Meeting

Nicholas will talk about his work with Habenarias.

At our next Houston Orchid Society meeting on Thursday, June 1, Nicholas Rust will speak on the genera Habenaria, including an overview of the breeding traits of the different species.

Nicholas is an up-and-coming hybridizer in the orchid community. His passion for orchids began in 2015 when a mini-Phalaenopsis was gifted to him. This gift quickly pulled him into the diverse world of orchids. Shortly after his interests were formed, he began exploring the culture of several unique genera of terrestrial orchids. He now specializes in Habenaria and related genera, jewel orchids, Australian terrestrial orchids, and Bulbophyllum.

After studying biochemistry and molecular biology in college, Nicholas approaches his orchids with the same scientific perspective he uses while working in a research lab. This led to an interest in the entire life cycle of orchids and the start of his own hybridization program in 2018, which focuses mostly on terrestrial orchids, especially Habenaria. His aim is to use rarely cultivated species and distinct variations of species to create truly exceptional shapes and colors that will pave new and unique directions for hybridizing. In 2019, this obsession bloomed into a small orchid nursery, RustyExotics Orchids, which he uses to share his work.