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BCSS Birmingham are now on twitter thanks to our own Eddie Adams.  You can access it here


Agave tequilana update

Here are the latest views of the Agave tequilana on the Loudon Terrace at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens- now over 5 metres tall and with around 2000 flower buds.

photos Eddie Adams/BBG/with permission

Birmingham Autumn Show 1 October 2017

Mammillaria spinossima/Winterbourne Arid House/Gill Mills

We now have the autumn 2017 show schedule available.

As usual we will hold the show at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which is different to our meeting venue. Directions can be found in the schedule and as always you will gain free entry to the gardens on entering one plant into the show.

The Autumn Show will be on Sunday 1 October.

If you would like a hard copy sending please contact Gill Mills at gmills1@virginmedia.com

August Meeting – Talk by Roger Ferryman

Desert Storm/by Dave Hemsley/on flickr (CC)

Legendary pioneer and cactus explorer Roger Ferryman will be the speaker at our next meeting on Tuesday 15 August. His talk will be about “Cactus of the Chihuahuan Desert”.  It will be at the usual meeting place of the Horticultural Training Centre at Winterbourne House 7 for 7.30 pm and all are welcome.

Chihuahuan Desert/by Dave Hemsley/on flickr (CC)

July meeting: Haworthia website

This is the website run by Haworthia enthusiast Jakub Jilemicky that Alan mentioned at the last meeting: http://haworthia-gasteria.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/home.html

July Meeting: Gerhard Marx’s Haworthias

This month, the Chairman of the Haworthia Society, Alan Rollason, will introduce us to the South African plantsman, artist and Haworthia expert Gerhard Marx. Alan will focus particularly on the Haworthia collection of Gerhard Marx – “with some of the most spectacular specimen plants ever”, he reckons.

It is worth having a look at Gerhard Marx’s website, with some stunning examples of his botanical artworks (the image above is one we have linked to) and useful hints for pollinating and hybridizing Haworthias. Gerhard Marx has a recently described Haworthia species named after him, and he is a regular contributer to the Haworthiad journal, published by the Haworthia Society.

Coming up: June meeting

This month we welcome back globetrotter Paul Klaassen. He spent last winter in Madagascar and mainland Mexico, and we’ll hear all about it on Tuesday, 20 June, 7.30pm at the Horticultural Training Centre at Winterbourne House and Gardens (our usual meeting place). Do come along…

Summer at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens…

Arid bed along Loudon Terrace, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. (Photo by Wyl Durrant, BBG, with permission.)

Some news from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Firstly, when you visit the Gardens you will notice that the Loudon Terrace has been planted up recently. The arid bed looks splendid now, and it includes the Pachycereus pringlei which outgrew its position in the Arid House at Winterbourne Gardens. Taking it down was a major undertaking; the top of the plant was saved, potted up and re-rooted – and it now has a new home. Originally it came from Ian Thwaites, who donated the plant to Winterbourne.

Meanwhile, the flower stalk of Agave salmiana grew to 3.63 metres tall. A good 1,000 flowers are starting to open now, dripping with nectar. Their scent apparently might remind you of either  smokey bacon or sweaty socks – to sample it you’ll find the agave in the Barrel Arch, between the Mediterranean House and the Arid House.

Agave salmiana in flower, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. (Photo by Eddie Adams, BBG, with permission.)


May meeting: The genus Mammillaria

Mammillaria lloydii / by Kakteenklaus on Flickr (CC)

This month we are looking at cactus plants from the genus Mammillaria – firm favourites amongst cactus growers, and it is their flowering season now – have a look at the fantastic specimen in the Winterbourne Arid House.

Our speaker is Tony Roberts, a good friend to the branch and expert grower not only of Gasterias and small Opuntias, but also Mammillarias!

His talk is this coming Tuesday, 16 May. All welcome.

rekoi leptacantha kakteenklaus
matudae dornenwolf
carmenae kakteenklaus

April meeting: Nomads and Namibia

Namibian desert / by mariusz kluzniak on Flickr (CC)

We are looking forward to Dorothy Minors’ talk with this title on Tuesday, 18 April, usual time and place. Do come along if you can!

Quiver tree forest / by Martin Heidan on Flickr (CC)