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.

Plant auction – 17 May

We have been asked to help auctioning a splendid collection of former BCSS Birmingham member Fred Hassam. The auction will be held at Winterbourne, on Sunday 17 May. Winterbourne will be opening at 10am on that day to faciliate viewing of the auction lots, before bidding starts at 11am.

Gill took photos of the collection, and she has also prepared a list of the plants that will be auctioned. To preview the photos have a look at the slides below.

Coming up: February meeting

Pediocactus sileri in habitat (White Dome Nature Reserve in Utah).

Pediocactus sileri in habitat (White Dome Nature Reserve in Utah) / by USFWS Mountain-Prairie on Flickr (CC)

We are looking forward to a talk by Trevor Wray this coming Tuesday, 17 February.

Trev will be introducing us to some of the (mainly US) cactus habitats that he visited on several occasions, and the changes to the cactus populations that he noticed. As usual we meet from 7 at Winterbourne. Not to be missed. All welcome!