The American Orchid Society grants the following awards to orchids and exhibitors. AOS awards are a recognized measure of quality the world over and coveted by hobbyists and commercial growers alike. An AOS flower quality award adds value to an orchid in its own right, and as a parent for creating hybrids.
HCC (Highly Commended Certificate)
Awarded to orchid species or hybrids scoring 75 to 79 points inclusive on a 100-point scale.
AM (Award of Merit)
Awarded to orchid species or hybrids scoring 80 to 89 points inclusive on a 100-point scale.
FCC (First Class Certificate)
The highest flower-quality award, awarded to orchid species or hybrids scoring 90 points or more on a 100-point scale.
JC (Judges' Commendation)
Given for distinctive characteristics that the judges unanimously feel should be recognized but cannot be scored in the customary ways.
AD (Award of Distinction)
Awarded once to a cross representing a worthy new direction in Breeding. The award is granted unanimously without scoring by the judging team assigned.
AQ (Award of Quality)
Awarded once to a cross exhibited by a single individual as a group of not less than 12 plants or inflorescences of different clones of a hybrid or cultivated species. At least one of the inflorescences must receive a flower quality award and the overall quality of the group must be an improvement over the former type.
CBR (Certificate of Botanical Recognition)
Awarded to rare and unusual species with educational interest that has received no previous awards. The entire plant must be exhibited. This award is granted provisionally and filed with the judging center Chair pending taxonomic verification supplied by the exhibitor. (see Taxonomic Authorities)
CHM (Certificate of Horticultural Merit)
Awarded to a well-grown and well-flowered species or natural hybrid with characteristics that contribute to the horticultural aspects of orchidology, such as aesthetic appeal. This award is granted provisionally and filed with the judging center Chair pending taxonomic verification supplied by the exhibitor. (see Taxonomic Authorities)
CCM (Certificate of Cultural Merit)
Awarded to the exhibitor of a well-flowered specimen plant of robust health. The plant must score more between 80 and 89 points inclusive on a 100-point scale.
CCE (Certificate of Cultural Excellence)
Awarded to the exhibitor of a well-flowered specimen plant of robust health. The plant must score more than 90 points on a 100-point scale. Plants receiving this award represent the highest level of orchid culture.
EEC (Educational Exhibit Certificate)
Awarded to an educational exhibit that furthers knowledge and education of the public regarding orchids, Consideration should be given to displays that further conservation awareness.