New programme – now online

Worcester Karoo Gardens by South African Tourism on Flickr
Quiver tree forest by Martin Heidan on Flickr
Dudleya pulverulenta

The new branch programme for 2017 is now online – we hope to see you to some of our meetings this year!

Coming up: January meeting

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

We shall start off the new year with a talk from the slide library – a set compiled by Sonia Barker-Fricker on plants of the genus Dudleya. These are new world succulents, and many species have leaves covered in a white powdery substance. Only a few are grown more widely – but this talk will introduce us to many of the Dudleya species known.

We meet as before in the Horticultural Training Centre at Winterbourne House right by the University of Birmingham campus in Edgbaston, every third Tuesday of the month, at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. The talk on Dudleya will be on 17 January – all welcome!

New Branch Secretary

The branch have a new secretary: Glynis Bate. If you have any queries regarding our branch please contact her at

Programme for 2017

The programme for 2017 is complete and will be online within the next week or so. We shall start off with the talk on Dudleya (see previous posting).

Then in February Roy Earle will tell us more about raising and keeping Lithops – something we touched on a little at his last talk, but given the interest in practical cultivation and propagation techniques we thought this topic would merit a more in-depth talk and demonstration.

And in March we are looking forward to welcoming Andrew Young with an account of a visit to the collection of the American specialist Steven Hammer.

Details on all the other talks will follow nearer the time, and the schedule of talks for the entire year will be published shortly.

Coming up: AGM

This coming Tuesday, 13 December, we will hold our AGM. We will discuss reports from branch officers, and it is an opportunity for everyone in the branch to share thoughts on activities for next year.

Mammillaria zeilmanniana / Photo: Cay Kruse (with permission)

The branch programme for 2017 is complete, with talks on some favourite cacti (Mammillaria), very special habitats, some magnificent plant collections, and the conservation efforts in Mexico. More details to follow shortly – and do let us know if you have requests for talks or topics for future branch meetings!

The AGM will be held at our usual meeting place at Winterbourne, at 7.30pm.


This Agave salmiana, housed at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, decided to flower – always a spectacular sight, even if the flower stem still has some way to travel.

Here is a recent photo taken by our branch member Eddie Adams – and how this ends can be seen in a forum posting by Geoff Bowman, who gave a talk to our branch last year. His documentation is great to get a sense of scale: Geoff had to take out several panes of glass from the greenhouse roof; the plant itself was planted out in his commercial-style greenhouse and with free root-run grew to about a couple of meters in height (and rather wider).

Change of programme: November meeting


Unfortunately Andrew Young is unable to travel to Birmingham this month, so we re-arranged his talk on Steven Hammer’s collection for March next year.

Instead, we have moved the talk originally scheduled for March 2017 forward: Derek Castle will tell us about a visit he made to South Africa, this coming Tuesday, 15 November, 7pm, usual place.

Coming up: October meeting

Thelocactus sausseri seedlings / by Dornenwolf on Flickr CC

Thelocactus sausseri seedlings / by Dornenwolf on Flickr CC

We are very pleased to be able to welcome nurseryman Tony Irons to our next branch meeting. He will share his expertise on raising cacti and succulents from seed. This is on Tuesday, 18 October, usual time and place – all welcome!

Autumn Show this weekend

It is the weekend of our Autumn Show in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens: 11-4 on Sunday, and the show is held in conjunction with the Haworthia Society.

Coming up: August meeting

We have a change to our schedule of talks for August and September – a straight swap.

So in August, we welcome John Foster to our branch, with his talk on showing and judging cacti and other succulents – for instance at our Autumn Show. John has judged our show in the past, and his idea is to give some insight into what might make a good show plant.

If you have any plants you might like discussed please bring them along! This is on 16 August, and the slides from the 1996 National we will see on 20 September.