October Newsletter - Cactus Club

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October Meeting: Love Holiday cactus? Interested in low care succulents? Want stunning flowers or more architectural looking plants? Ever wonder about that funny looking plant up in that tree? Well look no further!! The wonderful world of epiphytic and lithophytic cactus and succulents awaits you!! Join us as we explore multiple groups of succulents that thrive from the rainforest to Alpine skree. These plants are easy to care for in a either a home or outdoor setting, and many make excellent plants for hanging baskets, and living walls.
      Mark the date of 7:30 pm Wednesday, October 18th at the Franklin Park Conservatory. Rebecca O'Linn (Mouse) will be leading a program on the Epiphytic Cacti and other succulents, including Epiphyllums (Orchid Cactus), Rhipsalis (Mistletoe Cactus), Zygocactus/Schumburgkia (Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus), Hoya, Dischidia, and others.

    We usually associate cacti and other succulent plants with arid environments, but many species live epiphytically in rainforests, and seasonally wet forests around the world, oftentimes growing side by side with tropical ferns, orchids, bromeliads and other epiphytes. Many are quite familiar and popular plants, and make great subjects for hanging baskets, and living walls, others may be a bit less familiar, but all are interesting  plants, exhibiting some remarkable adaptations to life in the tree tops. and many produce large and beautiful flowers. In addition to illustrating many epiphytic succulents, "Mouse" will share her experiences and recommendations on how to grow these remarkable plants.

    Members are also encouraged to bring in cutting of these plants to this meeting to share with members and visitors.

      Mouse, I fear that I will be out of town for this meeting, but I will have a cutting of Epiphyllum chrysocardium to share with you at the November meeting.

September Meeting: We joined members of the Midwest Cactus and Succulent Society at 1:00 pm Sunday, September 24th, at Klyn Nursery located at 3322 South Ridge Road in Perry, Ohio for a combined meeting of the Midwest, Central Ohio, Greater Pittsburgh and Michigan Cactus and Succulent Societies. Bill and Nancy Hendricks hosted this event.

     Curt Hanson presented the program Cacti of Chile and Argentina, an extensive collection of images of the cacti which he encountered during his travels to Chile and Argentina. His images of plants were truly exceptional. Especially memorable were his images of Copiapoa photographed at sunset; the sunset colors giving these plants remarkably golden and scarlet tones. I personally was thrilled to see images of habitat images of Cumulopuntia, a group of highly distinctive plants, closely allied to the prickly pears and chollas, which are particularly adapted to the higher elevations odf these regions..

We thank Curt for this presentation.

    Following the meeting and lunch, Bill opened up his greenhouse and hoophouse to show off his exceptional collection, and to share starts of plants which he has been tirelessly propagating since Midwest Cactus and Succulent Society sale in March. I acquired a number of Haworthia plants, including some exceptional varieties of Haworthia reinwardtii, and a plant of Poellnitzia rubiflora (also listed as Astroloba rubiflora in some references) a haworthia look-alike with closer affinities with the Aloes. While I have known about this plant for some time, I believe that this will be the first time that I have had it in my collection. Harry Gate and I also receieved rhizomes of 2 Yucca varieties, I came home with starts of Yucca filamentosa "Bright Edge", a nice cultivar, with golden edged, upright foliage. This variety is of a smaller size than the species, and is therefore more suited to containers than most other Yuccas. I probably collected more starts than I will be needing in my garden, and I hope to be able to share a plant or two sometime in 2018, after these plants have had some time to leaf out. Harry also was given rhizomes of a different cultivar, a similar but more robust plant, with similar golden variegation.

    I shared some rooted cuttings of a variety of Orbeas and Huernias, including: Orbea dummeri, Orbea variegata, and Huernia erinaceae. I also donated a couple of unrooted cuttings of Orbeanthus hardyi to Bill Hendricks: I recently acquired this plant, but until it bloomed, I was uncertain of its identification. Luckily, it flowered in late August, and its highly distinctive flowers made for an easy identification. This is the first time that I have encountered this plant - it is rare in habitat, and is hard to locate in the trade (I acquired my plant through Groovy Plants Ranch). It is my hope that Bill and I (and Groovy Plants Ranch) will be able to propogate this plant to make it available at future meetings and sales.

  We all thank Bill and Nancy for hosting this event, and for Bill's generosity in sharing so many plants with guests.

CSSA Corner:  To keep up with the latest updates on the website of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America check their site at:  www.cssainc.org.

The Plant Society Handbook page includes the agreement between the various plant societies and the Franklin Park Conservatory as well as several of the forms to request classrooms, equipment, and to reserve dates for shows and sales. The Flower Show Rental Contract contains request forms which are specific for shows and sales.

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