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Past Meetings

Cactus hunting in Canada

Andrew Gdaniec gave a talk on this topic a couple of years ago. If you missed it have a look at the RHS publication The Plantsman (September 2014 issue) where he has published an article on the hardy cacti of that country. A more technical account of Andrew’s Canada expedition is available from the Merlin […]

November meeting: Larger flowering Mammillarias / Chris Davies

Thank you to Chris for his very informative talk on the larger flowering Mammillarias. He gave us details on a large number of species, their habitats, pictures of plants at different locations, in cultivation – and of course some expert advice on growing them in a Birmingham greenhouse. All of the Mamms he mentioned have […]

August and September talks

We are grateful to John Watmough and Peter Hallett who gave talks in August and September, both well attended and well received. I received a few notes on John’s talk about Stapeliads from our Secretary, Mark O’Connor: John brought along a variety of Stapeliads, plants “noted for lots of stems and occasionally a pungent smell. […]

July meeting: From Cape Town to the Orange River / Alice Vanden Bon

Alice Vanden Bon took us on a whistle-stop tour of South Africa and its wonderfully diverse flora. Starting off in Cape Town and taking in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens she introduced us to 16 habitats that she visited over a number of years, with reference in particular to species of Conophytum, Crassula and a number […]

March meeting: Andean Antics / Trevor Wray

It’s always nice to welcome Trevor Wray – and this time round he gave us a flavour of Argentina and Chile and its flora. In crossing the Andes twice last year he visited a range of different habitats – and recorded 138 cactus species. He found Gymnocalycium (erinaceum, mostii, capillaense) growing with garden favourites such […]

November 2013 Meeting: Schlumbergera / Mark Preston

Our last talk in 2013 was Mark Preston’s excellent introduction to the six species of Schlumbergera – of which the ‘Christmas Cactus’ is one. This is a group of epiphytic or lithophytic cacti (i.e. they root in organic matter on trees or on rocks respectively) that have been adapted to environmental conditions one tends to […]

October 2013 Meeting: Flowers in my Greenhouse / Arthur Tomkins

It is the time of year to look back on what’s done well this year, and Arthur kindly showed us pictures of plants in his splendid collection: large bowls of Mammillaria bombycina, Neoporteria flowers that almost seem to glow from the inside, Thelocactus conothelos var. aurantiacus with a very unusual flower colour. Below is just […]

August 2013 Meeting: Mexico Field Trip / Dorothy Minors

A while back, in August, we had Dorothy Minors from Sheffield Branch here with us. Her talk was an excellent travelogue: great photographs and a wealth of interesting observations on the way some of the Mexican cacti grow in habitat. The role of the tour guide played a former Sheffield Branch member who found work […]

July 2013 Meeting: Caudiciforms / Bob Potter

It is the holiday season, but nonetheless more than 20 branch members and guests came to hear Bob Potter’s talk on caudiciforms – perennial plants with a woody base, essentially. More specifically, Bob’s talk covered Adenia, Anacampseros, Ceropegia, Didieria, Dorstenia, Euphorbia, Kedrostis, Monadenium, Othonna, Pachypodium, Pelargonium and Peperomia – all illustrated by wonderful slides taken […]

April 2013 Meeting: Cactus Hunting in Canada / Andrew Gdaniec

Interesting talk in April – who would have thought that cacti grow so near the Arctic Circle?! We had Andrew Gdaniec taking us on tour. He is a Kew Diploma student with a Birmingham past (he spent some time as a gardener at Birmingham Botanical Gardens) and bound for Gibraltar, where he is due to […]