BCSS Birmingham at the NEC

The branch will be exhibiting at Gardeners’ World Live again this year. Come and find us and see our plants – we will be happy to answer your cactus questions!

We’ll be in the Seeds of Knowledge section in the Gardeners’ Know-How Zone.

Annual Show this Sunday

Coryphantha andreae

From 11.00 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, B15 3TR.

The show will be judged by John Foster. Three cactus nurseries will be selling plants: Tony Irons, Stuart and Jane Riley, and Richard and Sheena Drane.

Deadline for submitting entries for the show is by the end of today – please download the show schedule for more information.

Auction – many thanks!

The branch would like to thank everyone who came along to the auction to make it such a success. Of over 200 plants a mere 6 were not sold (we will bring these to our Annual Show to sell). There were a large number of excellent plants on offer, and we know that these are in good hands following the auction.

A word of thanks to the Winterbourne staff is also due – they opened an hour earlier to facilitate the viewing of the auction plants, as well as help on the day. We are very grateful indeed that we were able to host the event at Winterbourne.

And finally, a big thank you to Rodney Sims and John Foster for doing the auctioning!

Hardy Agaves

Here is another interesting article from The Plantsman – on Agave suitable for cold glass or outdoor cultivation in the UK. We will have a talk on these plants later this year, in September.

Screenshot of title page of the Agave article in The Plantsman

Screenshot of title page of the Agave article in The Plantsman

Coming up: May meeting

The Richtersveld in the later afternoon sun. Photo by Martin Heigan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Richtersveld; Northern Cape; South Africa; August 2007. Martin Heigan mh@icon.co.za http://anti-matter-3d.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/martin_heigan

The Richtersveld in the later afternoon sun. Photos by Martin Heigan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The topic for our May meeting is: “Where do Cape succulents grow?” We are very grateful to Terry Smale to give us an expert tour of the succulent habitats in the winter rainfall areas of South Africa, and he will give us insights in how succulents were adapted to survival in harsh environments.

The talk is on Tuesday, 19 May, from 7.30 pm at Winterbourne as usual. All welcome.

Succulents in habitat (Anysberg, Little Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa, September 2006).

Succulents in habitat (Anysberg, Little Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa, September 2006).

An ancient Aloe pillansii (Giant Quiver Tree) towering over fields of yellow wild flowers in the Southern Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.

An ancient Aloe pillansii (Giant Quiver Tree) towering over fields of yellow wild flowers in the Southern Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Cactus hunting in Canada

Canadian Flag / by scazon on Flickr

Canadian Flag / by scazon on Flickr

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 Trust website.

Auction on 17 May – update

A few of the auction plants, now at Winterbourne

A few of the auction plants

Gill has added some new photos of the auction plants – now at Winterbourne and flowering. Two lots got damaged on the way and won’t be auctioned: no. 161 (Lophophora williamsii) and no. 191 (Uebelmannia pectinifera).

Coming up: April meeting

Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus, Estacion Marte, Coahuila 7 by Amante Darmanin on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus, at Estacion Marte, Coahuila / by Amante Darmanin on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

We are looking forward to welcoming Paul Klaassen to our branch, with a talk on two visits to cactus habitats in Mexico. On his first trip Paul specifically looked for Thelocactus; the second trip was a repeat of his first journey, this time with a focus on Ariocarpus.

This is on Tuesday, 21 April. Usual time and place. All welcome!

Thelocactus bicolor, at Parras De La Fuente, Coahuila / by Amante Darmanin on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Thelocactus bicolor, at Parras De La Fuente, Coahuila / by Amante Darmanin on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Annual Show – 31 May

Coryphantha andreae

Coryphantha andreae

The schedule for our Annual Show at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is fresh off the press – please submit your entries for the show by 28 May.

Three nurseries will be at the show to sell plants: Stuart and Jane Riley (Plantlife); Tony Irons (Tony Irons Seedling Cacti) and Richard and Sheena Drane (Richard and Sheena Drane’s Cacti Nursery).

Judging the show will be John Foster.

Coming up: March meeting

Illustrations from Britton and Rose, Vol. 4.: some Rhipsalis in flower and fruit.

Illustrations from Britton and Rose, The Cactaceae, Vol. 4.: some Rhipsalis in flower and fruit. By Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr (CC)

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 17 March) is our next meeting – this time we have a talk by our fellow branch member Mark Preston on Rhipsalis, a fascinating genus of epiphytic plants. Usual time and place, all welcome.