Founders' Award

ESA FOUNDERS' AWARD was established in 2005 in conjunction with the ESA's 65th anniversary celebration. This annual award is presented at the End-of Year meeting in December. The purpose is to recognize individuals, hybridizers, nurseries, garden societies, writers and those who make a difference through their service and contributions regarding epiphyllum hybrids and/or species epiphytic cacti. The intent is to honor those whose accomplishments have influenced the epiphyllum world both nationally and internationally. 



Richard Chadwick - Hybridizer.

Phyllis Flechsig - Hybridizer famous for "Clown" "Three Oranges" "Flechsig's Flame" and others.

George French - Prolific hybridizer of the "French" series.

Gray/Davis Nursery - Has, over the years, donated to the ESA many hundreds of cuttings.

Grimshaw's Epi Time Nursery.

Haage Nursery - Oldest Cactus Nursery in Europe.

Edward Jagieski - Hybridizer, and is accepting the Award for the Beahm Nursery

Dr. Myron Kimnach - Epicactus expert, writer of Species section for the ESA Registry and Director Emeritus of the Huntington Gardens.

Dr. R.W. Kohlschreiber - Chair ESA Research Committee, ESA Directory Registrar, Founder of the South Bay Epiphyllum Society.

Helmut Paetzold - prolific hybridizer of the "Paetz" series 

Rainbow Gardens - Has, over the years, donated to the ESA many hundreds of cuttings.


Wressy Cocke – Hybridizer known for many top cultivars including the famous "50s cross" and produced many of the finest small hybrids.

Hurst Nursery - Has, over the years, donated to the ESA many hundreds of cuttings.

California Epi Center. - operated by Bob and Lois Burke. Benefactors of the ESA


Bob & Betty Berg – Betty was Historian, and Membership Secretary; a position she held for 12 years. Bob was Membership Secretary, past President, Bulletin Editor including the wonderful and informative special ESA 50th Anniversary Edition of the Bulletin and a hybridizer.

Velma Featherstone – Past ESA President, past ESA Bulletin Editor; having the 2 nd longest tenure as Editor at the time, Hybridizer and Registrant for a number of Hybridizers including all of Ernest Schwemmer’s originations. 

Eckhard Meier – German Hybridizer, co-founded the German Epiphyllum Societies, copious writer of epicactus articles, having had published not less than 172.


San Diego Epiphyllum Society.


Galen Pittman – Hybridizer, Registrant, ESA President, Show Chair, Source of epi information. Galen’s ability to Identify an epi (and in most cases) parentage on sight was truly amazing. 

Evelyn Shiraki & Darryl Miyamoto – Hybridizers; their registered cultivars are legendary; always in great demand and often winning top awards. Evelyn and Darryl are very generous benefactors to the Society.


Dr. Ralf Bauer - Known for his knowledge of the epiphytic cactus species. Written numerous articles on epiphytic cacti and was responsible for most of the technical descriptions for the epiphytic cactus species in “The New Cactus Lexicon”. Ralf has gone on several plant expeditions to Latin America and on a trip to Colombia he found a new Epiphyllum that Dr. Rudi Dorsch described in “Haseltonia” in 2003 and named it Epiphyllum baueri in honor of Dr. Bauer.

Edmund Beardsley – Hybridizer, past ESA President. Instrumental in the establishment of the Pentico Collection and the epi display at the Arboretum. Curator of the collection for many years.


Dr. Rudi Dorsch – Epiphytic Cactus Expert, Collector and Lecturer. Has taken field trips searching for new & unknown species. Is also a Medical Doctor.

Keith & Pat Ballard - Longtime volunteers and ESA Board members. Pat served as Membership Secretary & Treasurer for many years. Keith is a past Vice President & past President, past Annual Show Chair and the current ESA Bulletin Editor.


Prof. Dr. Johen Bockemuehl – Hybridizer, has been the Director of the German speaking epi society EPIG for 25 years.


Vera Ward – Hybridizer, one of the founders of the SFES, an officer of the SFES since the start. She volunteers for both the Society and for Strybing Arboretum, (the San Francisco location where the Society meets) both as a docent and as head of the epi department in the nursery section of the Arboretum. Behind her able leadership, the Arboretum has established quite an extensive collection of epicactus hybrids, schlumbergera, and epiphyllum species for propagation and for sale.

Mike Davis - Hybridizer, President of SFES. His shade house is a work of art, as are his front and back gardens. Has been collecting epies for 20 years, and now has around 400. But his gardens are not limited to epi hybrids, also having Schlumbergers, Cymbidiums, Bonsal, Begonias.


Rudolf Hessing – Hybridizer and grower since the age of 17. Specializing in hybridizing small-flowered plants with the goal of flowers year-round. Regular lecturer at the biennial EpiCon.


Don Patterson – Hybridizer


Derek Obayashi – Hybridizer


Jerry Moreau - Curator, Epiphyllum Collection at San Diego's Safari Park. Board member, San Diego Epiphyllum Society and Epiphyllum Society of America. Flower show judge

2018-EPIG (Interessengemeinschaft Epiphytische Kakteen)

2019-San Francisco Epiphyllum Society


Robert Kuettle-Past President, hybridizer.