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:

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)

Coming up: March meeting

 Steven Hammer's Sphaeroid Institute, Feb. 2015

This month we are very lucky to have Andy Young introducing us to Steven Hammer’s collection, also known as the Sphaeroid Institute. Both Andy and Steven Hammer are Mesemb specialists, and both have published widely on these plants. Both even have plants from the Aizoaceae family named after them: if you know Hammeria gracilis – this is named after Steven. And recently described Conophytum youngii is named after Andy.

Steven Hammer’s collection extends much beyond Mesembs, encompassing Haworthia and South African succulents more widely. For a little taster see this entry from a different blog. There is also that set of images on Flickr that we have linked to above (you can click through the images from this page) – showing the collection and the master himself.

We meet this coming Tuesday, 21 March, usual place and time. Do come along!

Coming up: February talk – this Tuesday

Assorted Lithops seedlings

We are delighted to have Roy Earle introducing us to the growing of Lithops. If you fancy learning how to raise Lithops from seed and to keep maturing plants in good condition, this is the talk for your. Usual time and place – this coming Tuesday.

January talk – this coming Tuesday

Dudleya pulverulenta growing epiphytically on a sycamore tree / by
Joe Decruyenaere on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Just a quick reminder that the frst of this year’s talks will be this coming Tuesday, 7.30pm at our regular meeting venue at Winterbourne. Do come along if you can!