Speaker Topics and Schedule

Nicholas Rust, owner and founder of RustyExotics Orchids, has a variety of unique talks to give to interested orchid societies. Feel free to browse below to find the current available talks and speaker schedules for the year.

Nicholas offers talks  in person or over zoom/online. Any month that says "Open" is still open for scheduling. 

  • Nicholas is an up-and-coming hybridizer in the orchid community. His orchid passion began in 2015 when a mini-Phalaenopsis was gifted to him. Like a flame to gasoline, 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 other related genera, jewel orchids, Australian terrestrial orchids, and Bulbophyllum. In 2019, this obsession bloomed into a small orchid nursery, RustyExotics Orchids, which he uses to share the wonders and beauty of his work.


    Through studying biochemistry and molecular biology during 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 growth 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 directions for unique hybrids.

Available Topics

Habenaria: A basic overview of the breeding traits of species

This talk is all about Habenaria hybrids and how they are made!
Featuring over 50 hybrids and 100 pictures, this a perfect talk for anyone, be it an expert Habenaria-grower or someone who have never heard of the genus before. It begins with a quick summary of the genus’ history and where hybridization began. Next comes a big dive into hybrids with emphasis on how individual species created the hybrids. This makes up the bulk of the talk and has loads of pictures, both species and hybrids. Lastly, we’ll finish up with a thorough discussion on Habenaria culture, placing a large emphasis on the “big-bad dormancy,” which won’t seem big or bad after we finish!


This talk is very beginner-friendly therefore is easy to follow along. You don't need to know much anything about taxonomy or orchids to enjoy it!


Run time: 60-80 minutes

The Wonderful World of Jewel Orchids

Are you a fan of any and everything "jewel orchid?" Do you like them but need a little extra help growing them? Then this is the talk for you! Featured in a 2020 American Orchid Society webinar, this talk strictly focuses on jewel orchid species and how to grow the many different genera that are classified as jewel orchids. Not only is it filled with detailed pictures of these plants' beautiful foliage, but it also places an emphasis on flowers, something that is often overlooked in jewel orchids.

This talk also has two versions: regular and the judge's addition. The judge's addition contains a small section on judging jewel orchids but excludes a few slides from the regular talk to conserve time.


This talk is beginner-friendly, but a basic understanding of taxonomy is useful to follow along. It also covers a lot of culture, so a piece of scratch paper might be recommended to those really wanting to get the most from it.


Run time: 45-60 minutes

Coming soon!

Several more talks are in the works and will be available late 2023 and 2024. Stay tuned!

2023 Schedule

  • January - February: Blocked
  • March:

March 13, 2023: Atlanta Orchid Society - Habenaria: A basic overview of the breeding traits of species

  • April: Blocked
  • May: Open

May 2, 2023: St. Augustine Orchid Society - Habenaria: A basic overview of the breeding traits of species

  • June:

June 1 - June 7, 2023: Texas Orchid Circuit Tour - Habenaria: A basic overview of the breeding traits of species

-- June 1, 2023: Houston Orchid Society

-- June 4, 2023: McAllen Orchid Society

--June 5, 2023: Fort Worth Orchid Society

-- June 6, 2023: Austin (Heart of Texas) Orchid Society

-- June 7, 2023: Alamo (San Antonio) Orchid Society

June 12, 2023: Long Beach Amateur Orchid Society - The Wonderful World of Jewel Orchids

June 16, 2023: South Bay Orchid Society - Habenaria: A basic overview of the breeding traits of species

  • July: Blocked
  • August: Open

August 10, 2023: Five Cities Orchid Society (Zoom/online) - Habenaria: A basic overview of the breeding traits of species

  • September - November: Open